Homewares retailer The Pier has fallen into administration.

Restructuring specialist Hilco has been brought in to run the company, with accountancy firm Mazars appointed administrator.

Hilco is also running Woolworths and is reported to be interested in buying beleaguered furniture retailer Land of Leather.

The Pier, which operates 31 stores and 17 concessions throughout the UK, has struggled in the homewares sector, which has been hit hard by the downturn as the housing market deteriorates.

Mazars partner Rod Weston said: “The company has encountered difficulties due to the harsh trading conditions associated with the current economic climate. While in administration the business will continue to trade as normal. We are now reviewing options and are seeking a buyer for the business as a going concern.”

The Pier employs 400 staff, which includes 57 employees at its head office in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

Earlier this year, managing director John Higgins left the retailer following a shake-up by its Icelandic parent Lagerinn, set up by Danish tycoon Jakup Jacobsen.

Lagerinn also put the UK arm of its Ilva furniture chain into administration earlier this year

Last month The Pier brand director Fiona Strang left the company without a job to go to.

The Pier is the latest homewares retailer to hit the buffers amid the punishing economic climate, with MFI, Floors-2-Go, ScS and Rosebys among those to collapse this year.