Fashion company Joules has formally fallen into administration, putting the future of the retailer’s 132 stores and 1,600 employees at risk.
Joules said on Monday it filed a notice to appoint administrators after failing to secure emergency funding.
The company has now hired administrators from Interpath Advisory.
The Leicestershire-based chain, which has stores across the region, including in Cannock’s McArthurGlen designer outlet, Shrewsbury and Birmingham, employs around 1,600 staff and has over 130 stores.
The administrators said the company will continue to trade and stores will remain open while they “assess options for the business, including exploring the possibility of a sale as a going concern”.
Interpath added that it has seen “overwhelming” interest from potential suitors in snapping up the brand and its assets since it revealed plans to enter insolvency.
The firm has taken the step after talks about an emergency call with investors, including its founder Tom Joule, failed last week.
Will Wright, head of restructuring at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “Joules is one of the most recognizable names on the high street with a unique brand identity and loyal customer base.
“Over the coming weeks we will endeavor to continue to operate all stores as a going concern during this crucially important Christmas trading period while we assess options for the group, including a possible sale.
“Since the group’s announcement on Monday, we have had overwhelming interest from interested parties.
“We will be working hard in the coming days to assess this interest, but at this stage we are optimistic that we will be able to secure a future for this great British brand.”
Joules said all stores and concessions will operate as normal, while online orders will also be delivered as normal.
It added that valid gift cards can still be redeemed, but customers will no longer be able to purchase new gift cards.
Customers will also be able to exchange items in stores, but will no longer offer refunds after the administration.