Base Retail, owner of the Base Menswear stores, has entered administration, citing sustained difficult trading conditions.

Restructuring firm Portland has been appointed administrator of the retailer, which operated a chain of men's wear shops around London.

The move will result in around 68 redundancies and the immediate closure of four stores. Trading will continue at the remaining stores in the short-term, Portland said, while the group's prospects are reviewed.

The administrators said Base Retail's outlets have experienced difficult market conditions in the last two to three years with restrained consumer spending, price competition affecting margins, high location costs and a tendency towards web-based buyers.

Base Retail's MD, Marc Granditer added: "Rents are always difficult, but generally landlords are receptive. The real problem is the rates - the absurd situation in some of our stores where we were paying twice as much rates as rent.

"Our family had provided significant financial support to keep the business going in the hope of an upturn but, after poor Christmas trading, we simply had no choice but to take this action."

Portland said it is likely more stores will close shortly.

Base Retail's children's retail business operating through Base Childrenswear Limited has not been affected by the administration.