Shoe giant Brantano has entered administration, with around 2,000 British jobs at risk - the first retailer casualty of the year.
Tony Barrell, Mike Jervis and Rob Hunt of PwC were appointed joint administrators of the 140-store company.
Staff at the business, which is headquartered in Leicester, will be paid any wages in arrears, and will continue to be paid for their work during the administration, PwC confirmed.
The business was acquired by Alteri Investors in October 2015, but cited "difficult trading conditions" as being behind the reason for the administration "despite sustained efforts to make the business more commercially viable".
Barrell said: “The continuing challenging conditions for ‘bricks and mortar’ retail stores are well documented. Like many others, Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment.
“The administrators are continuing to trade the businesses as normal whilst we assess the trading strategy over the coming days and weeks. "
Robert Moran, deals partner at PwC, is leading the sales process.
He said: “Brantano is an established value shoe retailer in the UK and Jones Bootmaker/Brantano businesses attracted considerable interest during the 2015 sales process.
"We are now assessing interest in the UK Brantano business as a whole or its parts and we welcome approaches from interested parties."