Cutthroat competition amid slowing retail sales put paid to more than 100 years of men's fashion today when clothes retailer Base called in administrators. Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent

Pinning the blame on treacherous trading conditions, the company - which as Granditer Menswear spans four generations of family ownership - said it had appointed the corporate recovery firm Leonard Curtis to hunt for a buyer.

The managing director, Marc Granditer, said the company, which was established in 1906 and sells labels such as Ted Baker and Firetrap, would remain open nationwide in the short term but that price pressures and 'excessive competition' in the menswear sector had forced it to take action.

Essex-based Base is the latest youth-branded fashion chain to hit trouble; over the past 12 months companies including D2, Bank and Scotts have posted disappointing financial results.

Maureen Hinton, an analyst at retail specialist Verdict, said the increasing presence of supermarkets and sportswear retailers in the menswear sector had made life difficult for retailers such as Base. 'Supermarket shopping in particular suits men for clothes shopping, as it makes life easier. They can simply pick something up and just drop it in with all their other shopping.'

Footwear retailers Dolcis and Stead & Simpson have recently gone into administration, the latter bought out of administration by Shoe Zone.