Men’s and boys’ fashion chain Base Menswear was locked in crisis talks to stave off administration as Retail Week went to press.

The 21-store family owned chain, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2007, has been hit by the tough high street climate.

However, the chain’s owner Marc Granditer remained optimistic. “We are in talks with various parties and are encouraged by the support shown by suppliers and landlords and hope we can move on. We have been on the high street for a long time and hope to be there for a long time to come,” he said.

He confirmed that trading in the second half of last year had been extremely difficult. “We think that because of the economic slowdown our offer should be improved,” he said.

Last year, the retailer opened four new stores, in north London, Luton, Birmingham and Westfield Derby. The chain sells branded apparel including Armani, Ted Baker and Diesel.

In the past two months, Ponden Mill, footwear chains Dolcis and Stead & Simpson – which was rescued by Shoe Zone – and bookseller The Works have been forced into administration.