House of Fraser will appoint administrators after failing in the fight to save the business.
In a statement, the retailer said that talks with investors and creditors had “not concluded in a solvent solution”.
House of Fraser employs 17,500 staff.
Difficulties arose earlier this month, when Chinese firm C.banner walked away from a rescue deal that could have resulted in the necessary investment.
House of Fraser said administrators Ernst & Young confirmed that the business would continue trading while they attempt to complete a sale to interested parties.
House of Fraser’s 59 shops will open as usual on Friday, including 31 that have already been earmarked for closure as part of a restructuring agreement.