Bathstore is near to insolvency and has lined up accountants BDO to handle its administration.
The group’s owner, American billionaire Warren Stephens, is unwilling to inject more cash ahead of this month’s rent day, The Guardian reports, having failed to find a buyer for the loss-making business.
Administration would lead to the loss of 700 jobs and the closure of 168 stores.
Bathstore’s latest accounts show a pre-tax loss of £22m on sales of £141m in the year to July 31, 2017. The company said it had been hit by falling consumer confidence and increased sourcing costs following the 2016 Brexit vote.
Poor trading continued last year despite the retailer embarking on a turnaround plan, for which Stephens provided a £15m loan and extended the maturity of previous loans until the end of July.
The big-ticket market has been especially hit by poor consumer confidence. Bathstore rival Better Bathrooms collapsed into administration in March with a loss of 325 jobs.