Mahabis, regarded as a rising star of online retail, has collapsed into administration.

Mahabis, which epitomised the direct-to-consumer trend through its specialisation in own-brand, upmarket slippers, hit the buffers two days after Christmas.

The etailer, which founder Ankur Shah positioned as “the Nike of downtime”, was launched in 2014 and was thought to be valued at as much as £100m.

A message on the Mahabis website said: “We are very sorry to report that Mahabis Limited entered administration late on the 27th December 2018. We have, for the moment, ceased trading as the administrators take over the business.

“During the four years since we launched, we sold nearly a million pairs of slippers to customers in over 100 countries; we are all desperately disappointed at this outcome. Please bear with us as we do our best to work through the current circumstances.”

The etailer said that customers who return orders are unlikely to receive a full refund.

Mahabis used pop-up adverts to draw shoppers. Sales of its slippers were reported to be in excess of £20m, according to The Guardian, which said no redundancies have taken place because of the flexible working model deployed by the retailer.

The administration of Mahabis is the latest indication that the travails convulsing retail are not restricted to bricks-and-mortar businesses.

In the run-up to Christmas, online fashion giant Asos issued a profit warning.