Upmarket food store Booths - which started in Blackpool - has put itself up for sale, it has been reported.
The retailer, which has stores in Lytham, St Annes, Poulton and Garstang is rumoured to be looking for takeover bids, according to business experts.
It also has outlets in Fulwood and Longton in Preston, Chorley, Longridge, Penworthan and Lancaster.
Nicknamed the “Waitrose of the North”, the company reported a loss of £6.3m last year. In the prior year, Booths made a £1.1m profit.
In a statement, Booths said: “Booths has been retailing for over 170 years and it remains a very strong, resilient and well-loved brand.
“One of our strengths has been our ability to adapt to changing market conditions and naturally, we always keep our strategic options open.”
The chain has 28 outlets across the North West and employs more than 2,800 people.
The company began trading in Blackpool in 1847.
Last month, the supermarket chain has dismissed suggestions its Haven Road store in Lytham could be set to change hands.
The business was affected by Storm Desmond, and its store in Kirkby Lonsdale was flooded, but was able to open within a week of the damage.