Alworths, the ‘son of Woolworths’ chain launched by a former Woolies director, has collapsed into administration, Retail Week has learned.

Leonard Curtis has been appointed administrator to the variety store chain, set up in 2009 by former Woolworths head of store and concession development Andy Latham in the wake of Woolies’ collapse.

It is the third retail administration this week, after menswear chain Officers Club hit the wall on Tuesday and furniture chain Easy Living collapsed yesterday (Thursday).

Off licence Oddbins is expected to file for administration on Monday.

All 17 Alworths stores are still trading. The retailer employs 235 members of staff.

Leonard Curtis administrator Neil Bennett said: “This is a business that operates in a very competitive market that has been badly affected by the recent downturn in consumer confidence experienced on the UK High Street.

“We are currently continuing to trade whilst we look for a suitable buyer in an effort to secure the business and safeguard job security for its current employees.”

Retail Week revealed earlier this month that the retailer was being restructured and that Latham had resigned as a director of the business. A new company, Retail Acquisitions, was set up and was expected to take control of the chain.

Latham and Chris Althorp-Gormlay, boss of private equity firm SKG Capital, are both directors of Retail Acquisitions.

For the year to December 2010 the business achieved a turnover of £7.5m.

Latham did not return calls.