The High Court has appointed an interim examiner – an Irish version of an administrator – to the DIY centre chain Homebase Ireland.
Homebase has 15 stores in the Republic of Ireland and employs 558 people.
Parent company Home Retail Group will have to allocate €2.14m to meet trading costs during the 100-day examinership period.
In a statement, Homebase Ireland said it was considering closing three stores which employ
17 full-time and 79 part-time staff. These may be redeployed elsewhere in the group.
All Homebase stores will continue to trade as normal during the examinership and the company has said that all employees will continue to be paid.
Homebase Ireland has seen its sales fall by 31% since 2009 and has not made a profit in the past five years.
It said its poor performance was down to the reduction in new house builds as a result of the recession, and lower consumer spending on repair, maintenance and improvement products.
It has also blamed “upward only” rent reviews for its inability to reduce its operating costs.
The company said the purpose of the examinership was to restructure the business to put it back on a “sustainable footing” and that it would try to protect as many jobs as possible.