Ethel Austin, the budget clothing retailer, has gone into administration.

Administrators from Menzies Corporate Restructuring have been appointed to the Merseyside-based company which has 300 stores.

A second retailer at the discount/budget end of the market is teetering on the brink of administration.

Retail pain
Scottish based Ossian Retail Group, which owns the fashion chain Internacionale and the Au Naturale homeware outlets, has 120 stores.

Last week one of its owners Agilo, filed a notice in court to appoint the accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers as administrator.