Clothing chain Jane Norman falls into administration

Women's fashion firm Jane Norman fell into administration today in a move which could put up to 1,600 jobs at risk.

Accountancy firm Zolfo Cooper hopes to find a buyer for the stricken retailer, which closed its 90 stores on Saturday.

Media reports have suggested that Jane Norman could be sold imminently in a so-called pre-pack administration deal, with department store chain Debenhams and knitwear firm Edinburgh Woollen Mill reported to be among the potential bidders.

Pre-pack administrations are controversial because creditors, such as suppliers, can lose out as some of the debts are scrapped.

Jane Norman, which specialises in selling to women between the ages of 16 and 25, is the latest retail victim of the squeeze in consumer spending brought about the financial crisis.

Habitat's UK shops outside London and Homeform, the owner of Dolphin bathrooms and Moben kitchens, were put into administration last week. Mothercare, Comet and HMV are among retailers closing stores.