FASHION retailer tReds has gone into administration.

Staff are remaining employed for the time being while assessments are carried out and any interest in the business is explored.

There are stores in Eastbourne and Worthing.

As well as being a blow to staff, it’s bad news for any customers who were planning on returning unwanted items – the company says it is no longer offering refunds.

The footwear and fashion chain – which was founded in Weymouth and still has its head office in the town – has been put into administration due to “challenges” in the retail sector, according to administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The firm has 21 shops nationwide.

It now has 21 shops nationwide as well as having a presence online. There is a total of 26 members of staff employed at stores in Weymouth and Poole.

PwC, which was appointed to manage the situation on Tuesday, said it is “too early” to speculate on whether the firm might be bought out by another company.

Ross Connock, director and joint administrator of PwC said tReds staff would remain employed as normal “in the coming days” while assessments are carried out.

“We are continuing to trade while we explore any interest in the business”, he said.

It is thought that “changing consumer behaviour”, as well as economic uncertainty, are behind the surprise announcement.