Budget homewares retailer Wilko has appointed administrators in a move that could put 12,000 jobs at risk.
Wilko has about 400 UK stores in locations including Woking, Bordon, Aldershot, Farnborough and Camberley.
A "notice of intention" was filed at the High Court on Thursday, confirming it had appointed advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers after failing to find a new buyer.
Chief executive Mark Jackson said the privately-owned company would continue talks with interested parties about options to preserve the business.
But he added Wilko was left with "no choice" but to appoint administrators after failing to find enough emergency investment.
Wilko has not confirmed whether or not any jobs would be affected.
Retailers have been hit hard by rising interest rates, soaring energy costs and squeezed consumer spending in recent months.
Shops including furniture retailer Made.com and clothing group Joules only avoided complete collapse after rescue deals by High Street giant Next.