Jones Bootmaker has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators, putting 800 jobs at risk.
Last month turnaround investment company Alteri appointed advisers at KPMG to explore options for Jones, which include a sale or putting it into administration.
The administration notice, which was reported by Retail Week, protects the retailer from creditors looking to recover debts. The business could still be sold as a going concern and Drapers understands Alteri has received “credible” offers for the footwear chain.
However footwear sources previously told Drapers Jones needs significant investment to turn it around and some feared administration could be used to shed unprofitable stores.
Alteri bought Jones Bootmaker and Brantano UK for €17m (£12.2m) from now bankrupt Dutch firm Macintosh in October 2015.
The following January Brantano fell into administration. A month later Alteri bought the majority of Brantano out of administration for £7m, saving 81 stores, 59 concessions and 1,372 jobs. The sale excluded 57 stores and one concession.
In September 2016, David Short stepped down as chief executive of the two retailers and former Arnotts CEO David Riddiford was appointed as executive chairman.
Jones, which has 108 shops and 13 concessions in the UK, made a pre-tax profit of £315,000 for the year to 31 December 2014, the most recent results available. It made sales after exceptional items of £79.9m.
Alteri Investors declined to comment.