UNCERTAINTY hangs over jobs at the Harrogate branch of Music Zone, as the UK's third-largest music and film retailer goes into administration.

But Bill Dawson, from Deloitte's Reorganisation Services division, who has been appointed administrator, hopes to be able to sell the 104-store empire, employing 1,100 staff as a going concern.

Turnover in the current financial year ending May is forecast at £115million, but sales have suddenly fallen.

A spokesperson for Music Zone said: "There is a growing number of high street retailers like Music Zone experiencing challenging trading conditions. Pre-Christmas spending was also poorer than expected.

"The decision by our bankers to recover debts and withdraw credit facilities without notice and with immediate effect left us and our private equity backers with no real alternative other than to appoint administrators."

Mr Dawson, partner at Deloitte, said: "Music Zone has an excellent store portfolio with a UK-wide footprint, covering predominantly prime high street locations. We're currently trading the business while seeking interested parties to acquire Music Zone as a going concern."

A spokesperson for LDC, the firm's private equity backers, said: "Despite the best efforts of a very capable management team, Music Zone has struggled in the face of aggressive pricing and deteriorating sales across the music and DVD sector.

"We're now working closely with management and the administrators to identify the most favourable outcome for employees, creditors and shareholders."