The Irish division of DIY and garden centre chain B&Q has gone into examinership.
B&Q, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kingfisher, the home improvement retailer, expects to keep its nine stores open during the 100-day period.
Brian Mooney, company chairman Ireland, said the aim is to rescue a business hit by recession.
"The management team is hopeful that a sustainable business can emerge from the examinership process, based on a restructuring of the company. Our priority remains our employees and our customers," he said.
"Our colleagues have been briefed on this development, and understand that the company's objective in seeking the appointment of an examiner is to try to protect jobs and retain competition and consumer choice in the market."
The company said all 690 employees will be paid, and all pre-paid goods and services, including kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms and their installation, together with gift vouchers and credit notes will be honoured. Suppliers will be paid for goods and services supplied during the process, the company said.
The company lodged an application at the High Court in Dublin seeking the examinership protection against its creditors for up to 100 days.
B&Q, which has been in Ireland since 2002, said it has proposed the closure of two outlets in Athlone and Waterford, and also suggested that another two close on economic grounds.
Declan McDonald of PWC has been appointed the interim examiner. He will have final say on which if any of the four stores close.
Trade union Mandate, which represents workers at the company, said employees were very worried about their future, and it has requested an urgent meeting with the company.