Borders has commenced ‘closing down’ Sales in all its stores as interested parties circle the business.

The bookseller, which collapsed into administration on Thursday, launched the Sales in all 45 stores on Saturday, putting pressure on its rivals in the crucial Christmas trading period.

A spokesman for the administrator MCR said Borders had been planning a sale for last weekend for some time. He described them as “stock clearance sales” as oppose to closing down sales, and added that MCR was conducting a “parallel strategy” - selling off stock while trying to find a buyer for the business as a going concern.

He said MCR had received “lots of interest in the Borders and Books etc brand”.

MCR joint administrator Phil Duffy said: “We are conducting closing down sales while we continue to seek a purchaser for all or some of the company’s stores.”

The Sale will be a blow to rivals including Waterstone’s, WHSmith, Tesco, Asda and Amazon.

It is thought HMV Group, owner of Waterstone’s, is in talks to buy some of the Borders stores. Similar talks with WH Smith collapsed a week before the retailer hit the wall.

It is unclear how the administration has affected concessions that operate within Borders stores, which include Game, Red5 and Paperchase.