Variety retailer and high street veteran Woolworths went into administration this morning.
Deloitte has been appointed administrators to Woolworths Plc and Entertainment UK, its wholesale division.
Neville Kahn, Nick Dargan and Dan Butters have been appointed joint administrators.
The retail arm of the company operates trades from around 800 mainly leasehold high street stores and four distribution centres, employing 25,000 staff.
Neville Kahn, reorganisation services partner at Deloitte, said: 'Woolworths has suffered a number of cash flow problems. Strenuous efforts over recent weeks to keep these companies going have unfortunately failed and the businesses are now looking to be rescued under the administration process.
'The companies were placed into administration this morning and will continue to trade. Stores will remain open past Christmas and employees in stores will be paid.'