House of Fraser has called in administrators after failing to reach a deal with creditors.
The chain department store has 59 stores, including 31 already earmarked for closure, and employs 17,500 people.
In a statement, the retailer insisted “significant progress has been made” in reaching a sale of the group’s business and assets.
Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: “We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded.
”An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength.
“In the two weeks since the Cenbest and C Banner transaction ceased, the directors have brought forward a number of potential buyers and the group’s financial advisors have run a comprehensive M&A process to identify and then develop other third party interest that has culminated in the senior secured creditors leading negotiations with parties at a critical pace.”
House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin said: “This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan.
”Despite the very recent termination of the transaction between Cenbest and C Banner, I am confident House of Fraser is close to securing its future.“