Granville Technology Group Ltd, owner of computer brands Time and Tiny, has gone into administration and most of its 1,600 staff are likely to lose their jobs.
Grant Thornton is handling the wind-up or possible sale of the Burnley-based firm. The news follows weeks of speculation about the company's future.
The beancounters - Andrew Hosking, Martin Ellis and Les Ross - have decided not to keep the company running as a going concern so all staff will be laid off.
Time posted a profit of £2.5m on turnover of £207m in the year ended 30 June 2003, according to the last set of accounts it filed at Companies House. No accounts have been filed since but management accounts show losses of between £1m and £2m a month.
The administrators blamed price deflation and a softening of consumer demand coupled with pressure from suppliers for the company's fate.
The statement also says the administrators hope to keep customer support lines open and promises a future statement to explain how it will do this.
They have also set up a help line for customers and creditors and people who have made recent orders but not received their goods. Call 0870 381 7097 if you fall into one of those categories.
GMB union representative Graham Coxon told The Reg the union had been worried about the company for some time and Time laid off 40 staff last week.
Time's 78 retail outlets - The Computer Shop - were closed yesterday after the bank stopped the company taking card payments. Staff had been hoping to return to work today.®