The joint administrators of U.K. entertainment retail chain Zavvi have announced the immediate closure of 22 stores. The store closures will result in the redundancy of 178 employees.

The other 92 stores in the U.K. will continue to trade and there will be further discounts, with 20-50% off across all product lines from Jan. 9.

"Despite record consumer demand since Christmas it is no longer possible to support continued trading across all of the Zavvi stores," said Tom Jack, joint administrator from Ernst & Young, in a statement.

The stores affected include branches in Edinburgh, Chatham, Huddersfield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Swindon, Manchester and York.

Jack added: "Unfortunately the current difficulties faced on the U.K. high street seem to be discouraging retailers from investing in a significant number of new stores.

"However, we intend to continue to trade the remaining Zavvi portfolio with a view to selling all or part of the Zavvi business as a going concern. So far we have received 60 expressions of interest, which we continue to actively pursue. We are extremely grateful to the staff and management at all stores and the head office for their fantastic support throughout this difficult time."

Zavvi went into administration on Dec. 24, roughly equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. The retailer faced serious supply problems as a result of Woolworths Group's wholesale entertainment distributor EUK going into administration in November.

Zavvi launched 15 months ago following a management buyout of the Virgin Megastore arm of the Virgin Group.