Woolworths is starting a closing down Sale today after administrators struggled to find a buyer for the business.
Administrator Deloitte said that if it fails to find a buyer soon, some stores may close before the end of the year.
Deloitte reorganisation services partner Neville Kahn said: "While we are still seeking bids from interested parties, Christmas is clearly the busiest time of the year for retailers and it is prudent to do all we can to sell existing stock. By moving to a store closing Sale and further discounting the stock, we are maximising the sales potential that this period offers."
It said it has begun a consultation process with all employees to provide an update on the latest developments and discuss the support available in the event of redundancies. Failure to find a buyer could result in Woolworths 30,000 strong workforce being made redundant.
Several parties are understood to have been planning rescue bids for Woolworths, however no firm offer has materialised.
Deloitte said that discussions with interested parties were ongoing.