Discount department store retailer TJ Hughes has gone into administration in a move that threatens 4,000 jobs at its 57 stores.

The company's owner, private equity firm Endless, was forced to take the action after a supplier threatened to file a winding up notice against the company.

"We have provided TJ Hughes with working capital since March when it was about to fail and knew then that pulling it back from the brink was going to be difficult," Endless said.

"Trading at the business has continued to be significantly down on last year as a result of difficult retail conditions and the loss of supplier and credit insurer confidence.

"Sadly, on this occasion, a rescue of the company has not been possible and we will now focus on helping the administrator save stores and jobs."

Endless backed a management buyout of TJ Hughes in March this year.

Shop workers' union Usdaw said the news wasn't a "complete shock" to staff, "as they have been at the sharp end of the company's recent and urgent attempts to reduce costs."

National officer John Gorle added: "The company has assured Usdaw that they will continue to pay staff as normal and that there are no immediate plans for any store closures or redundancies.

"Usdaw firmly believe TJ Hughes still has a place on the high street and we will continue to work closely with the company and if necessary any administrators to safeguard jobs and to secure a sustainable long term future for the business."