Coast has tumbled into administration following “difficult trading conditions”, putting 300 jobs at risk.

Staff at the fashion chain were told this evening that all 24 of its stores would be shuttered as a result.

PwC has been drafted in by Coast owner Aurora Fashions, which also owns Oasis and Warehouse, to handle the process.

Fellow fashion operator Karen Millen has acquired its brand and website, saving 600 jobs in the process.

Karen Millen owner Icelandic bank Kaupthing also owns Aurora.

Notices being displayed on Coast stores this evening stated that Coast Retail Limited, Coast Fashion Limited and Coast Holdings Limited has been placed into administration “due to difficult trading conditions”.

Coast’s department store concessions in John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams currently remain open and valid gift cards will be honoured, the notice added.

Karen Millen boss Beth Butterwick said: “We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family. 

“Our expertise and infrastructure puts us in a unique position to create a lean and profitable business, ensuring it remains a thriving destination in department stores and online.”

PwC director and joint administrator Mike Denny added: “The businesses had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasionwear.

“This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing. Karen Millen will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the new business.

“Regrettably, other parts of the business including 24 retail stores were not included in the transaction. We will make every effort to help those employees in parts of the business that were not included in the sale and will support those affected at this difficult time by liaising with the Redundancy Payments Service and Job Centre Plus.”

Coast’s collapse comes a month after Aurora accelerated its efforts to sell off the retailer after it was hit by the ongoing struggles of House of Fraser. However, it was unable to secure a buyer.

It leaves Coast as the latest in a string of high street names to go bust this year amid a perfect storm of rising business rates, increases to the national living wage, sluggish footfall and fragile consumer confidence.

Toys R Us, Maplin, Poundworld and House of Fraser are among the other businesses that have all tumbled into administration in 2018, although the latter was rescued by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.