The consortium that last week made a bid approach to TJ Hughes, the struggling discount retailer, backed off yesterday in the face of continued resistance from the company.

TJ Hughes' shares dipped 5p to 150p on the news that the bidders would not be proceeding, although it was still 9p higher than before the bid approach was disclosed.

The bidding group was headed by William Currie, a former food retail stockbroking analyst, and included Eric Hodges, the former TJ Hughes' chairman.

The approach got off to a poor start when movements in the company's share price forced them to issue a statement that they were "considering whether or not to make an offer, which it is not currently envisaged would include any cash element".

The consortium, advised by MacArthur & Co, said it reserved the right to review the position if the board proved ready to recommend a bid, but TJ Hughes said it would not do this.

Mr Hodges, 63, was the former managing director and chairman who oversaw the company's flotation in 1992.

TJ Hughes made a pre-tax profit of £4.2m in the year to January 27 against a restated £6m. Turnover rose 25 per cent to £156.6m.