The troubled British department store chain BHS has called in administrators after failing to secure a rescue package, putting 11,000 jobs are at risk.

A fixture on Britain's high streets, the firm has suffered from a chronic lack of investment recently. It has debts of more than 1.3 billion pounds ($1.8 billion), including a pension fund deficit of 571 million pounds.

Some 164 stories are threatened with closure in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths collapsed in 2008,

Retail magnate Philip Green bought the chain for 200 million pounds in 2000, but sold it last year for just a pound after failing to turn it around.

Administrators Duff & Phelps said in a statement Monday that the group will "continue to trade as usual" while a deal is sought.