Pundits had been predicting corporate causalities in the retail sector in early 2010. One of the first to emerge is Leeds-based, 2nd Thoughts. Who trade as the Ellie Louise and Happit chains of clothing stores in England and Scotland. The company went into administration last week following a period of poor trading.
Timely action resulted in the saving of more than 240 jobs saved following the acquisition of the business and assets of 2nd Thoughts, for an undisclosed sum by Ellie Louise Trading.
Although, there has been twenty-nine store closures and 140 redundancies at stores and the group’s Yorkshire head office. A prompt sale of the business as a going concern enabled the remaining 49 stores to continue trading, safeguarding existing jobs.
A spokesman said; “This long-established firm has been another victim of the downturn in the retail sector, but the business built up over the last 30 years will remain in the hands of the family, giving it the best chance of recovery.”
Selling mostly budget ladies wear, the company has its headquarters and a warehouse in Garforth near Leeds. Mick Broughton was the one to establish the company more than 30 years ago. Value fashion retailer Ellie Louise expanded to more than 90 stores after the acquisition of family-owned Dunfermeline-based Happit in June 2008.
The family business began life as a stall on a Seacroft market, subsequently run by sons Gary and Kevin. Following the deal with Happit, the group grew to boast 82 stores nationwide. This includes 12 in Yorkshire and has annual turnover of £14m a year.