DIY chain Atlantic Homecare has been placed in examinership following an application by the company to the High Court in Dublin today.
A statement on behalf of the 13-store chain said it has been loss-making since 2007, and has accumulated losses since then of more than €21m.
The company attributed the losses to a combination of high rents and falling demand for DIY products.
"Turnover has fallen by 44% from €100m in 2007 to €56m last year, with further declines forecast," the company said.
"Despite extensive remedial actions taken by management, losses have increased each year.
"Remedial actions taken include the closure of two stores previously, ongoing reductions in operating costs and in staff numbers, new computer systems, together with substantial investment in revamping, rebranding and extending stores."
The company said an independent report prepared for the High Court by KPMG outlines hopes that 234 jobs out of a total of 348 can be saved.
"There is a good prospect of Atlantic becoming a sustainable business if an extensive restructuring programme can be implemented," the company said.
However the report also said that five of the chain's 13 stores may have to close - Liffey Valley in Dublin, Pouladuff in Cork, Newbridge in Kildare, Childers Rd in Limerick and Wellpark in Galway.
Atlantic Homecare is part of the Grafton Group, which also owns Woodies DIY; builders' merchants Heitons and Buckleys; plant and tool hire company Sam Hire and kitchen fitting business The Panelling Centre.