Staff at Accrington’s Ethel Austin store have been plunged into confusion after they were dramatically dropped from a hitlist of stores set for imminent closure.
Administrators MCR publicly announced two weeks ago that the Arndale Centre store was among 129 outlets on the closure list.
But now they may have been handed a lifeline, after MCR said that 15 would stay open for the time being.
The other 114 stores have already closed or will close in the next week, according to the London firm.
Staff have complained about apparently contradictory signals from MCR and their head office employers.
Ethel Austin employees from Accrington and fellow East Lancashire stores have claimed that the first they knew of their imminent redundancies was reading about them in the press.
There are nine employees based at the Arndale Centre store.
One of them said: "We have always been told there are 129 store closures right at the beginning. The stores that were told they were definitely closing were told on February 10. We have been told now that we are on a potential closure list. Why lie to us and why not tell us what was going on?"
The employee added: "The head office has now sent us all the signage and a pack for closing down stores. It’s been disgusting the way they’ve treated us. It’s going downhill and we’re still having to carry on and put a brave face on it."
An MCR spokesman said that the latest announcement was possibly just a "stay of execution".
He said: "The list has been revised to 114 that will actually close in the next week. For whatever reason there are 15 stores that are not going to close down. A couple of them have traded well and it depends on the state of the business. If a bidder comes forward it could be a rosy outcome for everybody."
He added: "All 129 stores were told when this announcement went out and they have been collaborated with throughout. Administrators have been briefing all staff throughout the process."