Harold Tillman, one of retail's best-known characters, has blamed last summer's riots and a lack of help from government for the trading problems at Allders of Croydon.
Mr Tillman, who owns a 35 per cent stake in the department store but is not involved with its management, said: "The business has not recovered since the riots.
"Unfortunately, nothing has been done by government or the council to help. It appears many businesses have not got compensation at all. Croydon council has not done what they should have done."
Allders of Croydon's management are in discussions with its landlord and the local council to help reduce outgoings in an attempt to survive.