D2 Jeans goes into administration
Store chain D2 Jeans has collapsed into administration, making 200 staff redundant and jeopardising hundreds more jobs.
Administrators closed 19 stores and laid off the shop workers as the Dundonald, Ayrshire-based firm became the first notable post-Christmas retail casualty.
The remaining 28 stores are being run as a going concern while administrators seek a buyer for parts or all of the business in the hope of saving the jobs of hundreds more employees.
BDO LLP administrator James Stephen said: "It is unfortunate that the economic climate and extremely difficult trading conditions have significantly affected the retail sector.
"However, we are hopeful of securing a sale of all or part of the business and will continue to trade the business while this is explored."
It is the second time in two years that the chain, originally set up by Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, has gone into administration.
Last time, it was understood that around 500 jobs were saved as its management struck a deal to buy more than 40 of its stores out of administration. But around 32 stores - employing more than 300 staff - were not included in the rescue deal.
A spokeswoman for BDO said she was unable to say which of the firm's stores had been closed on Thursday.
BDO later said the closed stores were at the following locations. In Northern Ireland the branches affected are Omagh; Bloomfield, Bangor; Lisburn; Newry and Kennedy Centre, Castle Lane, Cityside and Connswater in Belfast.
In Scotland they include Clydebank; Falkirk; Glenrothes; Hamilton; Irvine and Paisley. In England they are Redditch, Taunton, Haverford and in Wales, Llanelli.