German retailer Schlecker has said it is insolvent and has not been able to secure funds to keep it afloat during restructuring.
The company is now in bankruptcy protection from its creditors and said its European stores will remain open with employees being paid as part of the insolvency process.
Schlecker has not made a profit for several years and is in the process of closing up to 1,000 of its over 10,000 outlets.
The company — which has shops in Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Portugal — has seen its image suffer after employees’ complained of poor working conditions.
It has 30,000 workers in Germany and 17,000 elsewhere.
It plans to modernise its stores and train managers in how to properly treat workers to help it return to profit this year.
German magazine Manager Magazin recently reported that several investment funds, such as US-based Oaktree, considering buying into Schlecker.