Shoe retailer Brantano has gone into administration putting jobs at risk at its 140 stores across the UK, including Bedford.
Brantano, which was bought by an investment firm just four months ago, employs about 2,000 staff in 140 stores and 60 concessions across the UK.
The chain has two stores in Bedford in Kempston and at 5a Harpur Street, the only two in the county.
Administrators from PwC are now running the business, which they said would trade normally while they sought a buyer.
PwC’s Tony Barrell said the chain was a victim of changing consumer habits.
“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.”
Brantano, along with Jones Bootmaker, was bought by retail investment firm Alteri Investors in October from Dutch-based Macintosh Retail Group. Jones is not affected by the administration.
Mr Barrell added: “The administrators are continuing to trade the businesses as normal whilst we assess the trading strategy over the coming days and weeks.
“Staff will be paid their arrears of wages and salaries, and will continue to be paid for their work during the administration.”