Discount fashion group Ethel Austin has been sold to the former chief executive of value fashion chain Mk One in a move that secures around 2,500 jobs.

Elaine McPherson, who paid an undisclosed sum for the group, says she will now undertake a strategic review of the brand.

"I want to return it to its former glory and that may well involve a revamp of the stores and the product range," McPherson said.

"I shall be undertaking a thorough review of the business to produce a strategy to transform the business's trading performance and safeguard jobs."

Ethel Austin, which is based in Knowsley, Liverpool, was put into administration last month.

According to administrators Menzies Corporate Restructuring, the retailer has an annual turnover of about GBP150m.

In the last month, 33 stores have been closed, but the remaining staff and around 260 stores transfer to the new company, called Ethel Austin Ltd.

McPherson added: "Despite the current tough economic conditions putting household budgets under pressure, I believe that a combination of quality and great value clothing can make Ethel Austin a retail success story once again."