BOLTON'S Bathstore has already been shuttered after the company fell into administration after "months of difficult trading".

The town's Bathstore, in Manchester Road, was closed yesterday afternoon with its shutters down and a notice of an administrator's appointment pinned to the door, dated June 26.

The retail chain collapsed into administration, leaving hundreds of jobs at stores up and down the country at risk. It is unknown as of yet how many staff members of the Bolton branch will be affected as administrators seek a rescue buyer.

Bathstore operates a total of 135 stores across the UK, including its Manchester Road branch, as well as locations in Bury and Burnley.

The future of 531 members of staff who work for Bathstore across the retail stores and head office has now been thrown into doubt.

Despite the Bolton store being shuttered, it is understood that the business will keep on trading to complete customer orders.

Outstanding customer orders will be fulfilled subject to available stock, but all installation services have ceased immediately.

The collapse comes after a failed sales process for the business, which has been owned by American billionaire Warren Stephens since he backed a management buyout in 2014.

Business advisory firm BDO has moved in as the administrator for Bathstore.

BDO is now on the hunt for a new buyer in the hopes of saving the company.

Ryan Grant, business restructuring partner at BDO, said: "Despite significant investment into the business over the past five years, Bathstore has struggled to overcome the well-documented challenges facing the UK retail sector.

"The appointment was made after several months of difficult trading, and the failure of ongoing talks to find a buyer for the business.

"Bathstore is continuing to trade in administration, whilst the administrators seek a buyer."

The failure is the latest blow for the British high street, which is still reeling from a growing list of administrations and store closures.

Retailers of big-ticket items such as furniture and home fittings have faced particular challenges as consumers hold back on making major purchases amid economic uncertainty.

In the home and furniture sector, Carpetright was among those to shutter stores and ask for rent reductions last year.

Locally, Bolton has been suffering losses of stores which have spent years on its high street.

Earlier this month, Brand Interiors announced plans to close its store at Moorland House, Knowsley Street, to concentrate on other locations.

However, it is hoped that the sale of the three-storey Moorland House to Chinese investors will prompt the beginning of a high street regeneration for the town.

Bolton Council is attempting to put life back into a flagging town centre with the announcement of a £1bn regeneration masterplan. The plans welcome several major developments in the coming months, including the replacement of the Crompton Place Shopping Centre in Victoria Square.