Life & Style in Gravesend closes

PUBLISHED: 17:35 21 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:13 22 July 2011

Life and Style, which moved into the former Woolworths site last year, has gone into administration

Life and Style, which moved into the former Woolworths site last year, has gone into administration


One of the town centre’s key business units stands empty a year after Life & Style opened on the site of the former high-street favourite Woolworths.

Administrators for the fashion and hardware chain, launched after the collapse of clothes store Ethel Austin, were forced to close the store in High Street, Gravesend, yesterday.

Several employees lost their jobs at Gravesend as 181 staff were made redundant across 12 stores on the same day. It means 34 of the 91 premises across the UK have closed and 440 staff made redundant. Administrators RSM Tenon continue the search for a potential buyer.

Simon Bonney, joint administrator, said: “Regretfully, to ensure the long-term future of the overall business we have had no alternative but to close further stores.”

The latest stores to close also include Orpington, Ashington, Bangor, the Kennedy Centre in Belfast, Fort William, Great Yarmouth, Johnstone, Leven, Livingstone, Reading and Watford.

The company based in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was formed from the remnants of the Ethel Austin fashion chain, which collapsed in March 2010.

Woolworths in Gravesend closed in December 2008 and the store remained empty until about a year ago when Life & Style launched.

Usdaw national officer John Gorle said: “We will be in contact with all members made redundant this week to offer them our advice, support and representation through this very difficult time and again will be taking all necessary legal steps to protect their interests.”

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