Department store Beales has appointed KPMG as administrators after failing to find a new buyer or new investment for the business.
The administration puts over 1,000 full-time jobs at risk.
Beales, which has 23 stores, will continue to trade during the administration process.
Before Christmas, Beales appointed KPMG to conduct a strategic review of the business and to examine different options for refinancing.
The Bournemouth based retailer, which sells brands including Hobbs, Phase Eight and Tommy Hilfiger, is owned by Tony Brown.
“Over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern while we assess options for the business, including dealing with prospective interested parties,” said Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.
“With the impact of high rents and rates exacerbated by disappointing trading over the Christmas period, and extensive discussions around additional investment proving unsuccessful, there were no other available options but to place the company into administration.”