Department store Beales has warned it could collapse into administration if it fails to find a buyer.
The retailer said 22 stores and 1,000 jobs were at stake, The Times reported. The retailer is negotiating with landlords to try and agree rent reductions.
Beales is also thought to be in talks with two potential buyers – a retailer and a venture capital investor, the BBC has reported.
It comes after the privately-owned business, which began trading in Bournemouth in 1881, hired professional services firm KMPG in December to lead a strategic review.
CEO Tony Brown told BBC Radio 4 this morning: “We filed an intention to appoint administrators last week. Principally what that allows us to do is to carry on working on restructuring with our partners to secure a profitable future for the business.
“We are looking at a number of things. For a buyer, for the right investment, but also the right structure for the business that does produce a profitable future, which we’re very very close to getting to.”