Alworths has collapsed into administration.
Speculation had mounted over the past few weeks over the future of the 17-store variety chain, which was formed following the demise of Woolworths.
Neil Bennett and Michael Healy at administrator Leonard Curtis confirmed they had been called in on 28 March. They are now trying to find a buyer.
“This is a business that operates in a very competitive market that has been badly affected by the recent downturn in consumer confidence experienced on the UK high street," said Bennett.
“We are currently continuing to trade while we look for a suitable buyer in an effort to secure the business and safeguard job security for its current employees.”
The company has been struggling for some months. It had aimed to have 22 stores by December last year but opened only 17.
Last month bailiffs temporarily closed its store in Llandudno, North Wales. It had also appointed restructuring specialists in a bid to turn around the business. Alworths website has now been taken down.
Future of Alworths in doubt after bailiffs shut Llandudno store (12 March 2011)
Alworths eyes five more sites by Christmas (6 November 2010)
Alworths relocates its first store to site half the size of original (28 August 2010)