Oasis and Warehouse are preparing plans to enter administration, according to reports.
Both fashion chains could collapse by tomorrow with accountancy firm Deloitte set to handle the insolvency process, with 2,300 jobs on the line between both brands.
A potential administration comes just three weeks after The Oasis and Warehouse Group – owned by failed Icelandic lender Kaupthing – started discussions with prospective buyers.
There is still hope for a deal to keep the two brands alive and save jobs, but with shops closed until further notice and bills being racked up, it won’t happen with the companies still solvent.
The good news for staff is that, under current rules, furloughed staff at insolvent firms can be paid by the Government’s job retention scheme, as is currently the case with workers at Carluccios.
The enforced closure has already seen some fashion brands hit hard.
Debenhams has already entered administration, while rival Laura Ashley has said it will permanently close 70 stores after sliding into administration.
Cath Kidston is also looking likely to appoint administrators.
An estimated 20,000 stores will be lost by the end of the year, according to figures from the Centre for Retail Research, a massive jump on the 4,547 that closed in 2019.
Weeks of lockdown will lead to 235,000 jobs being lost, up from 93,000 in 2019, which was the worst year for retail for a quarter of a century.