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A file photo of the Austin Reed store in London. Austin Reed made special protective so-called siren suits for Winston Churchill that he wore inside air-raid shelters during World War II. Photo: Reuters
A file photo of the Austin Reed store in London.
Austin Reed made special protective so-called siren suits for Winston Churchill that he wore inside air-raid shelters during World War II. Photo: Reuters

British tailor Austin Reed collapses with loss of 1,000 jobs

Austin Reed, whose clients included Winston Churchill, The Beatles and IMF chief Christine Lagarde, fell into administration last month

London: Britain’s historic menswear chain Austin Reed, whose suits were worn by Winston Churchill and The Beatles, said on Tuesday it will close 120 stores by the end of June as it winds down its operations.

The company fell into administration last month and no viable offers were made for its purchase.

Austin Reed’s administrators AlixPartners said: “We have made the difficult decision to cease trading the business and commence a wind-down of the estate."

This comes a month after British department store chain BHS called in administrators, putting 11,000 jobs at risk.

The firm, which also sells office suits for women, was founded by Austin Leonard Reed in 1900.

Austin Reed, whose famous clients also include International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, currently trades out of around 100 stores across Britain and employs a total of 1,184 staff.

During World War II, Austin Reed was commissioned to make the special protective so-called siren suits for prime minister Winston Churchill that he wore inside air-raid shelters.

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