Brantano has tumbled into administration putting the future of its 73 stores and 64 concessions at risk.
The value footwear chain had been put up for sale by private equity owner Alteri, after suffering amid the fiercely competitive retail environment.
As revealed by Retail Week, Brantano continued to experience cash flow problems and filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators in a bid to fend off enforcement action from creditors seeking to reclaim debts.
Alteri continued its search for a buyer, but has today drafted in PwC as administrators.
The move leaves 1,086 Brantano store roles and a further 71 head office jobs hanging in the balance.
Brantano was acquired by Alteri alongside sister retailer Jones Bootmaker from Dutch parent Macintosh in a £12m deal in October 2015.
The chain was put through a pre-pack administration in February 2016, but Alteri bought 81 of its stores and 59 concessions out of administration.
A statement from PwC said Brantano had “experienced difficult trading conditions despite sustained efforts and streamlining to make the business more commercially viable.”
PwC added that a sale of the business “was explored”, but “has not been possible to achieve”.
’Depressed and competitive market’
PwC lead administrator Tony Barrell said: “Despite significant improvements in the business and reductions in the cost base, trading has continued to suffer in a depressed and competitive footwear market.
“Like many other retailers, Brantano has also been hit hard by the sharp decline in sterling, the ongoing shift in consumer shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment.
“The administrators are continuing to trade the business as normal whilst assessing the trading strategy and any interest in parts of the business over the coming days and weeks.
“However, regrettably, it is inevitable that there will be redundancies. Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries, and will continue to be paid for their work while the business is in administration.”