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Links of London collapses putting 350 jobs at risk 

Links of London models
Links of London has fallen into administration Credit: Lauren Maccabee 

Links of London has gone bust, putting 350 jobs at risk as the High Street crisis claims another victim.

The London-based jewellery seller, which has 28 stores and seven concessions in the UK and Ireland, drafted in administrators from Deloitte on Thursday after it failed to find a buyer.

Efforts to raise more finance or cut rent bills also fell flat.

Matt Smith, of Deloitte, said: "The company has had to contend with difficult trading conditions that have impacted the whole retail sector."

Staff get to keep their jobs for now as Deloitte continues to look for suitors.

If it fails to find a buyer, the administrator will seek to recover some cash for creditors – including suppliers, landlords and lenders – by potentially selling some of Links' remaining stock.

Links is owned by the scandal-hit Greek retail group Folli Follie. It was set up by husband-and-wife team John Ayton and Annoushka Ducas in 1990 and went on to sell goods to high-end department store chain Harvey Nichols.

It had almost 50 shops when the couple offloaded the business to Folli Follie in 2006. The chain posted a loss of £20.6m on sales of £42.9m for the year to the end of December 2017. At the time, it had £79m of short-term debt.

The company's international business, which is part of the enlarged Greek firm, should not be affected by its travails at home. 

Savigny Partners, which have previously advised on high profile deals in the jewellery and watches arena, were tasked with finding a buyer. Mike Ashley's Sports Direct reportedly made a bid for the company.

A blizzard of retailers have already gone bust or been forced to seek a rescue deal as they struggle with the shift to online and higher running costs.

Firms including House of Fraser and Debenhams have been forced to seek rescue deals, while even stalwarts John Lewis and Marks & Spencer have been forced to cut costs.