The future of an iconic Liverpool department store will be decided in the next 10 days, administrators say.
The store in Liverpool is continuing to trade
Lewis's has been trading as a going concern since February after owners called in the receivers because of cashflow problems.
Negotiations have been taking place with an interested buyer, and administrators from Kroll said they remained hopeful of selling.
But they said a sale must be agreed by 12 May - or the store would close.
The company which owns Lewis's, Owen Owen Ltd, appointed Kroll to handle the store's affairs on 28 February.
Firm partners Philip Duffy and David Whitehouse have been overseeing the sale, as well as the company's other stores - Robbs of Hexham and Jopling's of Sunderland.
Mr Duffy said: "Contract negotiations are progressing with one interested party regarding the sale of Owen Owen's stores in Liverpool and Sunderland.
"We remain hopeful of securing a sale of these two stores.
"However, if a deal is not reached we will be forced to close the stores on 12 May, so in the meantime we are therefore starting the final stock sales in these two stores from today [Wednesday]."
Mr Duffy said he appreciated that it was a "difficult time" for those involved and thanked employees and customers for their continued support.
Staff at all three stores were briefed about the situation on Wednesday.
Sir Paul McCartney once worked as a temp at Lewis's, which is famous for a naked statue by Sir Jacob Epstein - Liverpool Resurgent - above the entrance.