Nearly 40 jobs in Exeter are at risk after youth fashion chain Republic went into administration.
Headquartered in Leeds, the company has 121 stores across the UK and employs around 2,500 people.
The appointment of administrators leaves 38 staff at the Exeter High Street branch facing an uncertain future after 150 head office workers were made redundant.
All stores remain open for business while efforts are made to find a new owner to rescue the business.
Joint administrator Hunter Kelly, of Ernst & Young, said: "Republic suffered poor trading results in the autumn, and whilst sales picked up in December there has been a sudden and rapid decline in sales in late January.
"The impact on cash flows has resulted in the business being unable to continue to operate outside of an insolvency process. Unfortunately, it has been necessary to make 150 employees at the head office in Leeds redundant.
"We will continue to trade Republic, with a view to selling the business as a going concern. The brand Republic is well recognised, particularly in the North. It has a powerful website offering, owns well-known brand names, and has some very attractive and profitable stores.
"We are grateful for the continued support of all employees and customers during this time, and would like to thank everyone at Republic for their commitment and hard work as the business continues to trade."
The business began as a men's denim retailer in 1986 under the Best Jeans brand in Leeds. It currently offers casual fashion, under multiple brands to young adults, including Jack Jones and SoulCal.
Ernst & Young have set up a helpline and email address for customers with enquiries: 0113 298 2450 / email@example.com.