Retail entrepreneur Philip Day, owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, hopes to snap up stores being closed by Marks & Spencer.
The billionaire would turn the properties into branches of his Days department store chain, which he launched two years ago, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
Day, who also owns brands including Austin Reed, Jaeger, Jane Norman and Peacocks, is understood to be in discussions with M&S to buy 10 stores slated for closure.
He is also interested in taking on the leases of some House of Fraser stores when they expire this autumn.
Marks & Spencer is in the midst of a store closure programme as chief executive Steve Rowe attempts to turn the business around and pivot it to a digital-first model.
Day has long held ambitions to build a department store empire, clashing with Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley along the way. Day had hoped to buy House of Fraser last year, but in the event Ashley won control and bought HoF out of administration.
Day opened the first branch of his Days department store in 2017.