Vision Capital said it hoped as many of these jobs as possible could be saved, but the likelihood of finding a buyer for the entire business - which does not own the freeholds of its 1,300 stores - seems small.
The company - which operates under the Threshers, Wine Rack, Local and Haddows names - has been struggling in the recessionary climate. Its problems have been amplified by supermarket discounting, rising rents, and the refusal of many insurers to cover the credit risk of trading with the company.
News of KPMG's talks with the company over its future - before it was appointed as the administrator - were confirmed this week.
A FQR statement said: "It is with great regret that the board was not able to brief our colleagues prior to it being made public in the media. This was always our intention but, unfortunately, the news leaked. There is a full programme of communication which will commence from Friday morning to our colleagues."
Stores will remain open while KPMG attempts to find a rescue plan.