Up to 500 jobs are being lost after a menswear firm founded in Northumberland called in administrators.
Cramlington-based Officers Club has blamed soaring raw material costs and low trading for the decision.
A buyer for 46 of the company's 102 UK stores has been found, according to joint administrators Grant Thornton, safeguarding 400 posts.
However, a spokesman said 56 shops, employing about 500 staff had been forced to close with immediate effect.
Joint administrator Joe McLean said: "The company experienced particularly challenging trading conditions in 2010 with raw material costs rising significantly.
"It was not possible to pass these increases on to customers given the extremely price sensitive nature of the UK retail arena.
"The directors did not see any improvement forthcoming in the early months of 2011 and concluded reluctantly that administration was in the best interests of creditors and other stakeholders.
"It is regrettable that a purchaser for all of the company's business and assets could not be located."