Bonmarché’s turnaround strategy “is under way” said finance director Stephen Alldridge as the retailer firms up its store portfolio.

The fashion retailer was rescued by Sun European though a pre-pack administration deal when sister company Peacocks hit the buffers at the beginning of the year.

Alldridge said: “It has been a challenging four months but we have been enormously encouraged by the support of our customers, staff, landlords and suppliers, who have all helped us get the turnaround of the business underway.”

It is estimated that the turnaround will take a year.

Bonmarché has had to stabilise and engage with landlords following its split from Peacocks, which was acquired by Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

The retailer is seeking to retain 270 stores out of the original portfolio of 394. It has completed transactions on around 100 stores and instructed solicitors on a further 110. The majority are on new leases, typically for five-year periods.

Property consultant Capa has been handling the lease negotiations.

Capa director Mike Sheath said: “The landlords’ overall response to Bonmarché’s position has been really encouraging to say the least. It was both positive and immediate.”

Some properties are yet to reach agreement as Bonmarché may look to relocate to alternative properties.