The Preston-based company, was founded in 1933, employs about 360 people and has more than 100 stores nationwide. It has been hit by the slowdown in the housing market and a marked decline in the number of people buying home furnishing products.
Deloitte partners Bill Dawson and Debbie Young have been appointed as administrators. Dawson said: 'The stores will remain open until we review the business and establish interest in acquiring it. There is a viable core business and we are hopeful that a going concern sale can be achieved. Walmsley has been hit by reduced retail spending on discretionary items such as sofas.'
A helpline has been set up for customers who have paid deposits and are awaiting delivery on goods.