The hunt to find a buyer for collapsed department store Allders is gaining pace with first round bids set to be lodged in the next two to three weeks.

It is understood that several parties are interested in snapping up the Croydon based department store, which plunged into administration last month, both from private equity and trade buyers.

However the uncertainty over the future of Croydon’s city centre scheme Whitgift is understood to be clouding any potential deal. Property developers Westfield and Hammerson’s are at loggerheads as they both attempt to secure the existing site to build their own shopping centres.

The doubt over where Allders could sit in the redeveloped city centre is thought to be off-putting for potential buyers.

Allders, which is this year celebrating its 150th year of trading, hit the buffers following a downturn in sales.

The store, the third largest department store in the UK, was backed by fashion tycoon Harold Tillman.

Tillman’s other venture Aquascutum fell into administration in April, the same month in which he sold a 70% stake in Jaeger to Better Capital.

It is understood that the previous management team has not expressed an interest in buying the iconic store back.

Duff & Phelps, which is handling the Allders administration, declined to comment.