Nearly 500 jobs are set to go at clothing retailer Ethel Austin and its sister firm, Au Naturale, which both went into administration this week.
The 469 jobs will go in Knowsley, Merseyside, where the head office and distribution depot are located, according to the BBC.
The companies’ administrator, MCR, could not rule out further job losses after conceding that 129 stores will also close if a buyer for the retail group cannot be found.
Shopworkers’ union Usdaw said that remaining staff now face a period of uncertainty about their future.
Usdaw officer John Gorle said: “This is devastating news for our members, many of whom are long-serving, loyal employees.
“We will be working hard with the administrators to salvage what is left.”
Closing down sales at the affected stores are due to begin on Thursday, MCR said.
Ethel Austin and Au Naturale employ more than 3,700 people.