Ernst & Young has been appointed administrator, and 125 stores are affected. The administrator said stores will open as normal on Boxing Day.
Zavvi's future has appeared in jeopardy ever since its main supplier - Woolworths subsidiary EUK - went into administration at the end of November. Since then the company has struggled to secure deliveries of key products and trading terms have been tightened.
Formerly known as Virgin Megastores and owned by Sir Richard Branson, Zavvi was bought out by directors Simon Douglas and Steve Peckham last year.
Zavvi is the third major retailer to go into administration this week, following The Officers Club and Whittard, both of which have been bought out following so-called pre-pack administrations.