Wilko, the High Street homeware retailer, has collapsed into administration putting 12,000 jobs at risk.
The chain has been unable to find emergency investment to save its 400 shops across the UK.
One of its stores has been situated inside Southport railway station for over 30 years.
Wilko had been working to secure a rescuer for the business which has been trading since 1930.
The firm’s boss, Mark Jackson, said management had “left no stone unturned” in its attempts to save the business.
“But must concede that with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration,” he said.
If a firm fails to buy any of the shops or parts of the business out of administration, Wilko risks becoming the biggest High Street causality this year.
The GMB union said the collapse was “entirely avoidable”.