Video game retailer, Game Group, has gone into administration, with the immediate closure of 277 stores in the UK and Ireland.
Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said 2,104 employees would be made redundant this week.
The remaining 333 stores will stay open as the administrators search for a buyer for the business.
PwC said that the retailer had suffered from high fixed costs and an ambitious international expansion.
Its business has been hit by competition from online-only retailers.
"Our priority is to continue trading the business as normal while we continue to pursue a sale," said one of the administrators, Mike Jervis.
"The recent job losses are regrettable, but will place the company in a stronger position while we explore opportunities to conclude a sale.
"My team and I will be doing all we can to help the affected employees at this difficult time."
PwC also said that all gift cards for Game and Gamestation had been suspended, meaning that customers would not be able to use them to buy merchandise and no cash exchange would be offered.
Game Group employs 385 staff at its headquarters in Basingstoke in Hampshire, and about 5,100 in its stores in the UK and Ireland.
About another 5,000 staff are employed at Game's other stores, which are located in France, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Scandinavia and Australia.
"This decision [to enter administration] is taken after careful consideration and ceaseless interrogation of every possible alternative," Game Group said.
The stores operate under the Game brand, as well as Gamestation.
The company asked for its shares to be suspended last Wednesday and announced it was planning to call in administrators.
It followed confirmation that some suppliers had stopped doing business with the retailer.