More than 3,200 jobs are under threat at discount fashion chain What Everyone Wants (WEW) and off-price shoe chain The Famous Brunswick Warehouse after they fell into administration.

Glasgow-based WEW operates 130 stores in the UK and has a workforce of about 2,500 while Brunswick Warehouse has its headquarters in Newcastle and employs about 740 workers at 67 retail outlets.

Both chains were put into administration by owner Tradegro UK yesterday which only bought the high street firms last month from Brown & Jackson as part of a larger deal.

Tradehold paid only £1 for the whole deal and took on debts of £47 million. It had planned to re-establish WEW as a cut-price apparel store similar to its heydays 20 years ago.

But Tom Burton from administrators Ernst &Young said: "What Everyone Wants has come under mounting pressures from tight margins and heavy competition in the discount retail sector, which has impacted on sales.

”We are hoping to sell the business as a going concern and will continue to trade the stores."

Administrators dealing with Brunswick Warehouse said that its stores would stay open and it was optimistic they could be sold as a going concern as there had been interest from several parties.