Department store chain Debenhams said it has filed a notice of intent to appoint an administrator to protect it from the threat of legal action during the coronavirus emergency.
It said legal action could have had the effect of pushing the business into liquidation while its 142 UK stores remain closed during the national lockdown.
The company has a number of outlets in Ireland but they are not impacted by the administration.
Debenhams' lenders took control of the retailer in April last year in an effort to keep stores open. They have since shut due to the outbreak but continue to trade online.
In response to the Sky News report, a spokesman for Debenhams said the retailer was making contingency plans reflecting the extraordinary current circumstances.
"Our owners and lenders remain highly supportive and whatever actions we may take will be with a view to protecting the business during the current situation," he said.
"While our stores remain closed in line with government guidance, and the majority of our store-facing colleagues have been furloughed, our website continues to trade."