Administrators have been appointed to furniture retailer Multiyork as it failed to “meet on-going liabilities”.
Nearly 550 jobs are now at risk as administrators Duff & Phelps search for a buyer for the ailing business.
Multiyork, which trades from 50 stores in the UK and has two manufacturing plants in Norfolk and Thetford, is expected to continue to trade as normal over the next few weeks in order to fulfil Christmas orders.
Customers waiting for orders will reportedly be contacted in due course, and the retailer has called for their patience.
Multiyork is the latest victim of increasingly tough conditions on the high street. Rising costs due to the weakened pound, rising business rates and waning consumer confidence has placed the industry under strain ahead of the vital Christmas season.
“Trading conditions for UK retailers continue to be difficult due to a number of factors including economic uncertainty, rising commodity prices, increasing business rates and the fall in value of the pound which has increased the cost of importing raw materials and products,” joint administrator Allan Graham said.
“This appears to be leading to a sharp fall in consumer confidence and less money being spent on discretionary items.
“The British Retail Consortium has been reporting that real consumer spending power has been on a downward trend in the last year as the acceleration in inflation has caused shoppers to become ever more cautious in considering what purchases they can afford.
“Many now face higher borrowing costs, given the rise in interest rates, which will only serve to heap further pressure onto household finances.
“This has impacted certain sectors particularly hard and as a result of trading losses, Multiyork could no longer meet on-going liabilities.”