Shoe specialist Barratts Priceless Group has collapsed into administration for the second time in two years.

Daniel Butters, Neville Kahn and Adrian Berry, partners at Deloitte, have been appointed joint administrators of the retailer, which has 191 stores, 371 concessions and employs around 3,840 staff.

Competition from discount retailers and poor sales had left the retailer in danger of not being able to pay its next quarterly rent bill on December 25.

Butters said: “Barratts and Priceless Shoes have faced a downturn in trading as a result of the difficult economic conditions. 

“This has been exacerbated by the unseasonably mild weather in recent weeks which resulted in fewer sales across new winter lines. We will continue to trade the stores whilst we seek a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern.”

“We are working closely with suppliers to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors.”

The retailer went though one administration in 2009, when 220 of its 380 stores were closed down by Barratts and Priceless Shoes then owner Stylo.

Barratts Priceless’ latest accounts show it made a pre-tax profit of £6.1m in the 18-month period to July 31 2010, recording sales of £218m.