Fopp, the recently-defunct independent British music retailer, has axed 700-plus employees.

Ernst & Young, the accountancy firm appointed administrator to the recently-collapsed chain, confirmed the job losses in a statement today.

The administrator has also publicly invited potential buyers to come forward.

Colin Dempster, an Ernst and Young joint administrator, declared in the statement: "It is unfortunate that we have had to make these redundancies but we are not in a position to re-open the stores until we have the agreement of suppliers who control the licenses to sell stock."

He added: "We would urge anyone with a genuine interest in taking on stores as going concerns to contact us immediately. In the meantime, we wanted to ensure that employees have the opportunity to claim their statutory entitlements through the Redundancy Fund as soon as possible."

The job losses affect staff at the retailer's 105 outlets, including those Music Zone outlets it acquired in February.

Dempster said his company had put together a dedicated team to handle the process and is retaining Fopp's store managers to help assess potential prospects for re-opening the stores.

Ernst & Young was appointed administrator on June 29 to oversee the future of Fopp's remaining assets.