British discount retailer Poundworld has gone into administration, putting 5,100 jobs at risk and becoming the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in the United Kingdom retail sector.
Poundworld, which is owned by TPG Capital, has around 350 stores, including one on Tavern Street in Ipswich as well as stores in Chelmsford and Kings Lynn.
Deloitte is expected to be appointed to oversee the administration.
Like many retailers, Poundworld has been hit by falling consumer confidence, rising overheads, the weaker pound and the growth of online shopping.
Administrators Deloitte have stressed that the stores will continue to operate as normal for the moment, with no redundancies.
Clare Boardman, joint administrator, comments: "The retail trading environment in the United Kingdom remains extremely challenging and Poundworld has been seeking to address this through a restructure of its business". Unfortunately, this has not been possible'.
The company, which has 335 shops and sells everything from flip-flops to deodorant and baked beans, racked up losses of £17.1million past year. "We still believe a buyer can be found for the business or at least part of it", she said. "We thank all employees for their support at this hard time".
A TPG Capital spokesman said: "This was a hard decision for every party involved".
Sky News has learnt that the bargain retailer is set to become the biggest chain by number of employees this year to fall into insolvency, just over three months after the same fate befell Maplin and Toys R US UK. We invested in Poundworld because of our belief in how the company serves its customers and the strength of its employees'.
'Even if Poundworld is lucky enough to be rescued by a white knight, it's still likely that a large proportion of its store portfolio would close for good, meaning yet more empty retail space gathering dust across the High Street'.
Restaurant businesses have also been looking to cut costs with store closure programmes, with Carluccio's, Byron and Prezzo all implementing CVAs.