JD Sports Fashion said is exploring several options for its loss-making outdoor clothing business and has taken a first legal step towards appointing administrators for the chain it bought four years ago.

The sportswear retailer said that directors of Go Outdoors had filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators with a UK court, adding that the administrators have yet to be appointed. 

Sky News reported on Saturday that JD had filed a notice of intention to appoint Deloitte as administrator to Go Outdoors, which employs about 2,300 people. 

"This notice creates an immediate moratorium around the company and its property, which lasts for ten business days," JD said in its statement. 

"During this moratorium, Go's creditors cannot take legal action or continue with any existing legal proceedings against the company without the court's permission," it added. 

With about 66 stores, mostly in out-of-town UK retail parks, Go Outdoors has struggled with significant losses as sales continued to decline.