THE FUTURE of 17,000 jobs is uncertain after House of Fraser entered administration yesterday.

The department store chain said discussions between interested investors and its main creditors did not conclude in a "solvent solution" , leaving it with no choice but to appoint administrators.

But House of Fraser said parts of the department store could still be rescued, most likely through a pre-pack administration process, where a new buyer cherry picks the best assets.

The company said "significant progress has been made" in reaching a sale of the group's business and assets.

The department store chain confirmed in June that it would close 31 stores nationwide, including Altrincham's Stamford Quarter branch, as part of the company's rescue deal to stave off insolvency.

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Rackhams House of Fraser in the Stamford Quarter, Altrincham. Pic-Darren Marsden.

Administrators will continue discussions with interested parties today (Friday, August 10) in the hope of reaching a deal.

Would-be suitors include sporting goods tycoon Mike Ashley and billionaire Philip Day, owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

House of Fraser bosses reassured staff and customers that its stores will continue trading as normal while they attempt to secure a deal to save the business.

Chief executive Alex Williamson said: "We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded.

"An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength."

In June, Trafford Council said it was “deeply disappointed” about the decision to close Rackhams, fearing its effect on the future of Altrincham's high street.

The closure will be a bitter blow for Altrincham's retail sector, which has enjoyed an impressive regeneration over the past few years.

The Council said it will consult with the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) and the owners of the Stamford Quarter building, to secure new tenants.