Osborne Stationers, a high street chain founded nearly two centuries ago, has shut three stores and started closing down sales at 14 others after going into administration.
Two others have been sold and discussions are ongoing over the sale of another.
The Birmingham-based business employed 140 staff at the time directors called in administrators from restructuring firm FRP Advisory last month. It has struggled to survive through tough trading conditions since the start of the downturn in 2008.
The firm, whose stores are mostly in the Midlands, was founded as a printing business in Birmingham city centre in 1832 by Edward Corn Osborne.
Administrators said stores in Arnold and Sherwood, both in Nottinghamshire, and Solihull, in Warwickshire, had been closed before Christmas. Two others, at Oadby in Leicestershire and Newark in Nottinghamshire have been sold to Paperweights Ltd, a company controlled by John Waits, a former owner of Osbornes, saving 10 jobs.
Steven Stokes, partner at FRP Advisory, said: “Unfortunately further closures are inevitable in the new year.” The remaining outlets consist of seven in Birmingham, two in Warwickshire, two in Leicestershire and single shops in Bristol, Tewkesbury, Worcester and Daventry.