Administrators to retailer Poundworld are to close 25 stores, resulting in 242 job losses.
Poundworld went bust last month and Deloitte, which is overseeing the process, has been attempting to secure a buyer for the business ever since.
But a memo to staff penned by the professional services firm, and seen by the Press Association, said: "As previously advised, the administrators have been preparing contingency plans in the event that we are not able to deliver a sale of the business as a whole.
"These plans have been continuing and it is with regret that the administrators have taken the decision to effect an organised wind down of 25 stores, starting today."
That last day of trading for the affected stores will be July 15.
Poundworld, which was formerly owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, has 335 stores and employs around 5,100 people.
The news comes as hopes for a rescue of the beleaguered retailer fade.
Deloitte last week turned down a bid for Poundworld from its founder, Chris Edwards, who was looking to save a raft of stores and safeguard around 3,000 jobs.
However, on Monday the Press Association revealed that the founder of rival Poundland, Steven Smith, is in early-stage talks about a bid to salvage part of Poundworld out of administration.
Daniel Butters and Clare Boardman at Deloitte have already made 100 people redundant at Poundworld's head office in Normanton, West Yorkshire.