After 44 years of trading, UK retailer Long Tall Sally is to wind down its operations over the next few months after falling victim to the financial pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which says trade has been particularly challenging since 2017, will continue trading through to the end of August, at which time it will switch off its website. Customers, however, can continue to order up until the final day of trading and the company says it will honour the returns period.

“The changing economics of retail, along with fierce competition, have hit us hard,” Long Tall Sally said in an open letter on its website. “Trading has been incredibly challenging and we’ve relied heavily on shareholder support to bolster LTS.”

Two years ago, the company embarked on a radical cost-cutting exercise, including the closure of all stores, to try to strengthen the business. However, it says “the very sudden and very profound impact” of Covid-19 further weakened its position.

“The economic outlook is now too uncertain for our shareholders to continue to support the business,” it added. “Please know we explored every possible avenue to continue trading but the financial impact of the pandemic means the business is no longer sustainable.”

The company says it is open to the opportunity of finding a buyer for the business, and or, the business’s assets.

Long Tall Sally is one of a number of retailers closing down operations after suffering under the weight of the pandemic. Most recently, Quiz said it is preparing to appoint administrators to its UK and Republic of Ireland subsidiary, while Tailored Brands has said it may need to seek bankruptcy protection or discontinue operations if its business continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Gap Inc is also to wind down its performance menswear brand Hill City.