Administrators from business services firm BDO said the company was continuing to trade as normal for now as they hoped to sell the company as a going concern.
Bathstore employs 531 people across its 135-strong store network and at its Welwyn Garden City head office.
The company joins a list of casualties as the retail sector continues to be hit by tough trading – a result of weak consumer confidence and high costs from the likes of business rates and minimum wage demands.
Ryan Grant, BDO business restructuring partner, said: “Despite significant investment into the business over the past five years, Bathstore has struggled to overcome the well-documented challenges facing the UK retail sector.
“The appointment was made after several months of difficult trading, and the failure of ongoing talks to find a buyer for the business.
“Bathstore is continuing to trade in administration whilst the administrators seek a buyer.”
It was reported last week that Bathstore had been hit by the devaluation of the pound in 2016 and a collapse of consumer confidence in 2017.
Now an insider has said its 168 nationwide stores are thought to be at risk of closure, following a loss of millions of pounds for the past two years.
The source also said staff were informed this morning that Bathstore will become a “product-only” retailer, and that all installations will cease.
Bathstore was set up in 1990 by Patrick Riley and Nico de Beer.
Its company headquarters are in Welwyn Garden City in England, though it has been owned by billionaire Warren Stephens since 2014.
Bathstore’s phones went straight to voicemail.
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