Two Dundee sports shops are to close as its owner said Covid-19 had forced it to enter administration.
DW Sports said it expects to appoint insolvency specialists today as its income was wiped out during closure during lockdown.
The chain founded by former Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan, operated 73 gyms and 75 stores across the UK.
It operates shops at the Gallagher Retail Park and Dundee’s Murraygate.
The administration puts 1,700 employees’ jobs at risk.
However, the DW gym which also operates at Gallagher Retail Park is not part of the administration process as it falls under the Fitness First arm of the company, which is not part of the insolvency procedure.
DW Sports stressed that Fitness First, which is a sister company of DW, will continue to operate as a separate company and its 43 clubs will be unaffected .
The company said it will now wind down its retail business for good, with its website ceasing trading with immediate effect and closing-down sales starting at its 50 remaining stores.
The administrators intend to support employees, customers and gym members as far as possible while they look to secure a buyer or buyers for some or all of the DW Sports portfolio.
At present, 59 of its gyms have reopened in England and Northern Ireland, with a further 14 sites in England, Scotland and Wales unable to open due to Government restrictions.
Chief executive Martin Long said: “As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.
“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports.
“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.
“It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long-term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain.
“Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”