Fears for the jobs of 4,000 staff at the discount department store chain TJ Hughes rose yesterday after a liquidator was called in to sell off stock.
The Liverpool-based company, which would have celebrated its centenary next year, collapsed into administration last week.
Ernst & Young, which was brought in to salvage the business, appointed the liquidating specialist Gordon Brothers. TJ Hughes has 57 department stores across the country. In March, it was bought by the turnaround specialist Endless from Silverfleet Capital.
The chain lost more than £10m in the year to the end of January and was under pressure after its credit insurance was withdrawn.
Thomas J Hughes set up the first shop in London Road, Liverpool, in 1912.