The first round of bids has opened for Allders department store, a month after the company went into administration.

More than 850 jobs are under threat after Andrew McKenzie, chief executive of the company, called in administrators Duff and Phelps on June 15, claiming a drop in trade for six months forced the move.

A spokesman for Duff and Phelps confirmed on Monday first round bids had been lodged for the store, with former owner Harold Tillman believed to be one of the parties.

It is believed the store intends to trade as normal up to the end of September, but the administrators refused to confirm this.

The store employs 300 people directly and a further 550 through concessions stalls in the Whitgift Centre-based shop.