Barratts administrator Duff & Phelps is understood to have hired GA Europe to operate its retail stores as “several” expressions of interest have been received from trade buyers for the bust footwear firm.

The 75-store retailer, which crashed into administration last Friday, will remain open and sources close to the situation said it could trade through Christmas while it seeks a buyer.

Administrator Duff & Phelps was appointed after a proposed £5m cash injection from an unnamed investor fell through.

Duff & Phelps partner Philip Duffy said: “Difficult trading conditions in the sector led the directors to explore potential refinancing options and additional equity.”

The administrator is seeking to sell the business as a going concern, however industry sources questioned whether this would be viable.

“When your average ticket price is £25, you can’t trade from prime UK retail sites,” said one industry observer.

Barratts last collapsed into administration less than two years ago.

Former Barratts owner Michael Ziff was understood to be plotting to save 50 stores although industry insiders doubted whether he would be successful in his attempts to re-acquire the footwear retailer for a third time. Ziff has since ruled out investing more money into Barratts but told Drapers he would be happy to “partner” with a new owner.

Barratts is thought to have received “several” expressions of interests from “major players” within the trade, according to a source close to the situation.

Duff & Phelps and GA Europe declined to comment.