Store goes into administration
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Some 850 jobs are under threat as one of the biggest department stores left in London goes into administration.
Allders has been open in Croydon, south London, since 1862 and became the flagship store of a chain across England.
Croydon Council said the firm had been unable to raise enough working capital.
The council said it was disappointed that despite its best endeavours, it was unable to stop the company from going into administration.
The chain had branches in Crawley, Horsham, Chichester Camberley and Guildford - as well as cities in the north.
It was broken up in 2005 but the flagship store survived.
The department store employs 300 staff directly, while 550 people work for concessions.
The company's director, Andrew Mackenzie, said the "tough market conditions" in the UK retail sector had forced the board to appoint administrators.
He said he hoped additional investment or a sale could be achieved.