Household and garden retail chain Wilko has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.
Wilko has approximately 400 stores across the UK, including stores in Ramsgate and Westwood, and employs about 12,000 people.
A sale of the chain had been considered and a £40m credit arrangement with Hilco was made earlier this year.
But now the company has filed the notice of the appointment of administrators.
Wilko CEO Mark Jackson said: “While we can confirm we’ve had a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business, at present, we don’t today have an offer that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available, given the mounting cash pressures we’re faced with.
“Unfortunately, with this in mind, today we’re having to take the difficult decision to file an NOI.
“We’ll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business and will encourage those interested parties we’re in discussions with to move as fast as possible. We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.
“We’re a £1.2bn turnover business with strong presence on UK high streets through our 400 stores, online at wilko.com and through our great value Wilko own brand products, serving local communities with their everyday household and garden needs for over 90 years.
“That said, while we’ll continue to progress these indicative offers, without the surety of a recapitalisation being able to be completed within the necessary time frame and given the cash position, we’ve been left with no choice but to take this action.”
Andy Prendergast, GMB Union National Secretary, said: “This is extremely concerning but we remain hopeful that a buyer can be found.
“Wilko’s staff deserve reassurance that their jobs are safe. We hope this is the number one priority going forward.”
The business was founded in Leicester in 1930 by James Kemsey Wilkinson and remains in the ownership of the founding Wilkinson family.
The business traded under the Wilkinson name until 2014, when it rebranded as Wilko.