Women’s fashion chain Bonmarché has appointed administrators, putting the future of the business in doubt.

The chain’s 318 shops will remain open while a buyer is sought for the chain.

Bonmarché chief executive Helen Connolly said she had made the decision with “deep regret and sadness”, and blamed tough High Street trading conditions for the move.

The Yorkshire-based chain, which specialises in clothing for the over-50s, employs 2,887 people.

“We have spent a number of months examining our business model and looking for alternatives. But we have been sadly forced to conclude that under the present terms of business, our model simply does not work,” she added.

Ms Connolly said the firm had considered a refinancing or a rescue deal, known as a company voluntary agreement (CVA) with its landlords

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