More than 250 workers at Jacobson Stores Inc left the company on Friday as the department store chain prepares itself for sale or liquidation.

Employees who lost their jobs represent more than half of those based at the Jackson headquarters and include marketing, buying and information technology positions, as well as one-third of the Florida distribution centre staff. The firm earlier this month warned 500 employees they may lose their jobs by early September.

Jacobson Stores, which has a total workforce of more than 3000, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation 15 January. It has since fallen behind on loan repayments and officials are now looking to find a buyer or liquidate the company.