The Pier has made almost half its head office staff redundant after falling into administration last week.

Accountancy firm Mazars, which has been appointed administrator, said it had to let 26 of its 57 members of staff go at its head quarters in Oxfordshire.

There have been no store closures to date. Restructuring specialist Hilco has been brought in to run the company.

Rod Weston, partner at Mazars and joint administrator, said: “Unfortunately we have had to make 26 redundancies affecting management and administrative staff at the company's head office in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

“Sadly we could not afford to retain everyone in the administration period. There have been no in-store redundancies. We continue to actively seek a purchaser for the business as a going concern and all stores remain open.”

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.

The retailer employs 400 staff, including the 57 employees at its head office.