The future of retailer Jones Bootmaker rests on a knife edge after the firm's owner was down its final prospective buyer to save the firm.
Turnaround fund Alteri Investors has put the high-street stalwart up for sale and until recently was in advanced discussions with fellow turnaround house Endless.
But with talks faltering, KPMG, which Alteri has drafted in to sell the firm, is down to its last remaining bidder: York-based shoe firm Parvers, first reported by Sky News.
More than 1,100 jobs across 103 stores and concessions could be lost if KPMG does not find a buyer in the next few days.
The news comes just a day after the writing appeared to be on the wall for Brantano, another of Alteri's shoe retail investments. The retailer called in administrators from PwC on Wednesday.
But having already been in administration one year ago, the future looks bleak for Brantano and PwC has already said there will be redundancies at the firm.
Alteri bought Jones Bootmaker and Brantano together in October 2015. It is understood that while Brantano was seen as something of a speculative investment, Jones Bootmaker was believed to offer considerable potential.
The owners filed an intention to appoint administrators over both firms last week, a move that gives them 10 working days to formally make an appointment.
While the future of Brantano was uncertain, it was expected Jones Bookmaker would be put through an administration merely as a method to effect a sale to a third party. Such a move is often used in distressed M&A transactions to leave liabilities behind and start afresh.