Store chain D2 Jeans has collapsed into administration, making 200 staff redundant and jeopardising hundreds more jobs.
Administrators closed 19 stores and laid off the shop workers as the Dundonald, Ayrshire-based firm became the first notable post-Christmas retail casualty.
The remaining 28 stores, including one in Sheffield, are being run as a going concern while administrators seek a buyer for parts or all of the business in the hope of saving the jobs of hundreds more employees.
BDO LLP administrator James Stephen said: “It is unfortunate that the economic climate and extremely difficult trading conditions have significantly affected the retail sector.
“However, we are hopeful of securing a sale of all or part of the business and will continue to trade the business while this is explored.”
It is the second time in two years that the chain, originally set up by Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, has gone into administration. Last time around 500 jobs were saved after management struck a deal to buy more than 40 stores out of administration. But around 32 – employing more than 300 staff – were not included in the rescue deal.
There are fears that some big name retailers will collapse after Christmas when most will be hit with their quarterly rent bills. Lingerie chain La Senza, which has 146 stores and 18 concessions in the UK, announced last week that it plans to enter administration.