The owner of My Local convenience has announced its plans to put the business into administration, leaving 100 stores and 2,300 employees at risk.
It is understood that staff were informed about the situation on Tuesday. Management noted that the chain is likely to officially fall into administration in the next few weeks.
My Local was sold from Morrisons to Greybull Capital last year and has struggled to compete in the cut-throat grocery sector.
Greybull has asked KPMG to act as an administrator for the chain. If a buyer cannot be found, the My Local estate will be sold off separately.
"My Local staff are devastated by the news that the company is going into administration. Having been sold by Morrisons last year, there was a mood of optimism that the new owners could turn around the business” said Joanne McGuinness, National Officer at Union Usdaw.
"We are talking with the company in a bid to save jobs and get the best deal for staff. In the meantime Usdaw is providing the support, advice and representation they need at this unsettling time."
The collapse of the convenience chain follows a difficult period in the retail sector, with the recent collapse of BHS and Austin Reed and a highly saturated convenience market.