Barratts Shoes has gone into administration for the third time in four years, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk in the UK and Ireland.
Barratts has stores across the North East, in Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Redcar.
The administrators, Duff & Phelps, said: "At this stage redundancies and/or store closures cannot be ruled out."
More top news
Paul Brand and guests discuss hard Brexit - and party discipline.
Milder - but at a price.
Sunderland Brexit voters tell ITV News Tyne Tees they feel “vindicated” that Nissan has decided to continue investment at the city’s plant.