DE SHOES, which has stores in Newton Stewart, Castle Douglas and Stranraer, has asked staff to take vountary redundancy.
Staff at the 146-year old firm’s 32 branches have been informed that the company is not in administration, but is for sale.
The 146-year-old Dundee-based family-run company employs more than 200 people.
Robert Sinclair, managing director, said: “Retail is going through an incredibly difficult time at the moment. The directors have been continually exploring how we could change the business model to ensure we got back to profitability.
“But, unfortunately, with the backdrop of all the pressures on customers’ spending, it’s not really been found.
“The current climate is probably the worst that’s been seen in most people’s lifetimes.
“We’re engaging in a formal process of employee consultation which will last a minimum of 90 days before any final decisions with regards to the company or individuals are taken.
“Throughout the consultation we’ll still be trading, we’ll still be paying suppliers and, if it does come to any redundancies, every employee will receive what they’re entitled to. We’ll be supporting our employees as much as we can.”
He added that the company would look to identify other options to “avoid or reduce any potential redundancies” saying that he was “fairly optimistic” that some offers to buy some individual shops may come forward.