UK-based discount retail chain Wilko has reportedly filed a notice of intent (NOI) at the high court to appoint administrators.

According to a report by the Guardian, the move is expected to leave more than 12,000 people at risk of losing jobs if the company fails to find a buyer.

The retailer is believed to have arranged advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The NOI protects the business from creditors for ten days, giving it time to secure its finances.

In recent months, PwC and Wilko have been seeking buyers to raise extra cash needed to keep trading.

The retailer has been reportedly struggling with rising costs and weak consumer demand.

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Last month, Wilko said it is contemplating a change in ownership to secure its future.

Recently, specialist retail investor Hilco agreed to provide approximately £5m ($6.4m) in additional funding to Wilko.

The Guardian quoted Wilko chief executive Mark Jackson as saying: “While we can confirm we’ve had a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business, at present, we don’t today have an offer that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available, given the mounting cash pressures we’re faced with.

“Unfortunately, with this in mind, today we’re having to take the difficult decision to file a [notice of intention to appoint administrators].”

Wilko, which operates 408 stores across the UK, sells cleaning, garden and household products.