Woolworths will continue its slow demise today with more than 150 branches closing, as the crisis gripping the British high street spreads.
The stores are due to hold their last day of trading if they have sufficient stock, and around 200 more will close on January 2.
The chain’s last remaining shops are set to close on January 5, and the firm’s collapse will leave 27,000 workers facing redundancy.
Everything including fixtures and fittings is being sold at discount prices.
Administrator Deloitte has held talks with other retailers to take on the leases of around 300 stores.
It also hopes to sell off the Ladybird children’s clothes and Chad Valley toys brands.
A spokeswoman said: “We are considering every offer that comes to the table.”
But worsening economic conditions have already claimed two more high street victims in the past two days.
Fashion store USC and childrenswear chain Adams called in administrators, joining firms including MFI, Zavvi, and The Pier which have all collapsed in recent months.
The news came as a bleak report predicted 600,000 workers would face redundancy between the new year and Easter.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which represents managers and personnel staff, said the period would be the worst for redundancies since 1991.
Chief economist John Philpott said: “This time last year, in the face of some scepticism, the CIPD warned 2008 would be the UK’s worst year for jobs in a decade. It was, but in retrospect it will be seen as merely the slow motion prelude to what will be the worst year for jobs in almost two decades.”