Administrators have this morning been called into Granville Technology Group, which owns the Time and Tiny PC brands and the Computer Shop retail outlets.

Around 1,500 employees stand to lose their jobs as the group finally cracks under the financial weight of producing low-cost PCs in an ever-tightening market. Speaking to the BBC, administrators Grant Thornton UK LLP said: "The group has fallen victim to the continued price deflation in the personal computer market."

Rumours had been rife throughout the week that Granville’s fortunes were faltering. An email sent out by an unofficial employees group enumerated several serious financial woes – not all of which have been substantiated – including the withdrawal of credit facilities and the imminent closure of the Groups high street PC outlets.

The latter did in fact happen yesterday, when the doors of all 78 Computer Shop branches were shut, at the time temporarily.

There are reports that the situation at Granville’s Lancashire headquarters is tense, with police being called in and a number of employees locked in one of the company’s facilities.

This morning the company said, “Our first responsibility is to our customers and staff,” promising further statements at 11am and then midday. So far no further comment has emerged. All members of the board except the non-executive chairman are understood to have resigned.