Shares in Bonmarché have plunged as much as 50% on Thursday after the retailer issued another profit warning.
The womenswear chain revealed that profits could swing into a £4 million loss for the full-year results amid Brexit uncertainty.
Bonmarché was hoping for promising sales following Black Friday, however, sales were “extremely poor”.
“The current trading conditions are unprecedented in our experience and are significantly worse even than during the recession of 2008-9,” said Helen Connolly, the group’s chief executive.
“I hope that in the fullness of time, our cut to the forecast may prove to have been overdone, but in the current market, this seems the appropriate stance to adopt.”
“I believe that Bonmarché is well prepared to weather the storm, and that we can look forward to some recovery in FY20. Accordingly, the Board remains confident in the strategy, and in the Company’s long-term prospects.”
Commenting on the subdued shopper demand, the group said that “consumer behaviour is not following last year’s pattern, nor the pattern of any year we have experienced previously”.
“We believe that uncertainty surrounding Brexit is a significant factor affecting demand and, therefore, that it may not strengthen until the current period of heightened uncertainty ends.
“As we have no visibility of when matters will be resolved, we have taken what we believe to be a cautious approach to our forecast and assumed that sales will not see any significant improvement before the end of March 2019.”
The group, which has 300 stores across the UK, is not alone in the difficult trading environment affecting retailers.
John Lewis reported in September that its profits had dropped by a staggering 99% and retailers Superdry (LON: SDRY) and Dixons Carphone (LON: DC) have also pointed to uncertainty affecting UK consumers.
Sports Direct (LON: SPD) boss Mike Ashley recently warned that the high street faced extinction without action.
Shares in the group (LON: BON) are trading down 40.37% (1204GMT).