STAFF at East, a women’s fashion boutique in Oxford, look set to lose their jobs after the chain went into administration.

The colourful fashion retailer’s announcement has put 314 jobs at risk, including a number of staff working at the Broad Street store.

It is not known how long the store will remain open for but a sign in the window says it is closing and advertising 50 per cent discounts.

The retailer, founded in 1994, has 34 shops and 15 concessions in department stores across the country after an earlier insolvency process three years ago cut the numbers of shops in its store estate.

Staff working at the Broad Street shop would not comment.

But FRP Advisory’s Joint Administrator Geoff Rowley said: “Unfortunately East is the latest high street casualty following a tough trading period at the end of last year.

“The retailer was making progress to expand its footprint, particularly looking at international opportunities.

“However it has been unable to secure the necessary funding to realise those plans.

“We’re now working closely with all stakeholders to evaluate the options to sell all or parts of the business.”

Graham Jones, a spokesman for Oxford traders’ group ROX - Backing Oxford Businesses - said he hoped East would not close.

He added: “If East in Broad Street does close then I hope the unit will be filled quickly as it’s in a prominent place in the city centre.

“Shoppers do not have a lot of disposable income at this time of year and I think landlords across the city centre need to review the rents they are charging.

“East occupies a relatively small unit but we don’t want to see too many gaps in the city centre.

“Landlords of shop units in Broad Street, Cornmarket, High Street and other parts of the city centre need to make sure they are charging reasonable rents.

“We want to make sure there are enough good shops outside the Westgate Centre, including independents.”

In 2015 East, known for its colourful designs, closed 15 stores and five concessions in a deal designed to offload loss-making shops and give it a more secure future.

But it appears the pre-emptive action was not enough and a tough trading environment, which has seen shoppers hold off their spending, led to East appointing administrators at FRP Advisory, which handled the end of BHS.

East Lifestyle Limited went into administration on January 29.

The retailer will trade while administrators look at options for the sale of all or parts of the business.