Beales in Worthing could close following news that the department store could collapse into administration.
The retailer, which started trading in Bournemouth in 1881, has announced that its 22 stores could close and 1,000 jobs are at stake if it does not find a buyer to save it.
According to the BBC, it is negotiating with its landlords to try and agree rent reductions.
The newspaper also reports that it is in talks with two potential buyers - a rival retailer and a venture capital investor.
Beales, which is one of the oldest department stores, appointed the advisory firm KPMG in the final retail trading week before Christmas to help advise on its 'strategic and financing options' – including a sale of the whole company or its subsidiaries - The Guardian reports.
The retailer reportedly said that in a bid to fund its moves towards a 'sustainable business model', it needed funding to support a refreshed strategy, which included an overhaul of its product ranges and cost-saving efforts.
It completed a management buyout in October 2018 led by its chief executive, Tony Brown.
In the year to March 2019, Beale Ltd posted a loss of £3.1m, up from £1.3m for the year earlier as costs swelled and sales dipped, the BBC reports.