The firm’s staff were being informed on Thursday evening that PwC has been drafted in to carry out the process, with all 24 standalone sites to close.
The Press Association understands that rival Karen Millen has bought the group’s brand and website, taking on 600 staff, but 300 jobs are now at risk.
The firm has stores in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Coast has been hit hard by the collapse of House of Fraser, which went into administration earlier this year owing millions to retailers with concessions within the department store.
Coast is owned by Aurora Fashions, which also owns retailers Oasis and Warehouse.
Aurora itself is owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which in turn owns Karen Millen.
The news comes at a difficult time for the sector, with the likes of Maplin, ToysRUs and House of Fraser all collapsing this year.
New Look, Homebase and casual dining chains have also had to slim down their store portfolios, with Patisserie Valerie the latest to hit the buffers.