Jobs at Comet stores in Lancashire are under threat after the electricals chain confirmed plans for it to be placed into administration next week.
Staff were informed of the plans yesterday morning and restructuring specialist Deloitte has been lined up to handle the administration.
The chain has a store at the Capitol Centre, Walton-le-Dale and one in Lancaster.
The move has left 6,500 retail jobs across the country under threat.
Comet said it was “urgently working” on plans to secure the company’s future and it is expected that administrators will seek a buyer for the business.
Customers with outstanding orders and those with gift cards and vouchers are being told it is “business as usual until further notice” and that the group intends to fulfil deliveries of products that have been paid for.
The administration raises the prospect of a pre-Christmas rush for discounted stock, with the administrator expected to wind down supplies and raise cash for creditors.
News of the planned administration follows just months after Comet was taken over by investment firm OpCapita, which bought the chain for a nominal £2 in February.
It is thought OpCapita and recently-appointed chairman John Clare - the former boss of rival Dixons - had been unable to secure the trade credit insurance needed to safeguard suppliers.
Comet’s collapse is one of the biggest since the demise of Woolworths in 2008 and comes a month after the failure of JJB Sports. Other recent casualties have included Clinton Cards, Blacks Leisure, Game and Peacocks.
Comet’s customer care team is handling any customer inquiries on 0844 8009595.