Maplin’s negotations with potential buyer Edinburgh Woollen Mill have reached a standstill despite the imminent prospect of administration.

As revealed by Retail Week last month, Maplin is urgently seeking fresh investment as its new boss bids to put the firm on a more secure footing.

Maplin’s sales slumped 7% during the crucial festive period, in part due to stock shortages caused by credit insurers cutting their cover last autumn.

The electricals chain is now trying to secure a rescue deal as it struggles with cashflow ahead of bills due at the end of this month.

It is currently in talks with Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill, owner of Peacocks, Austin Reed and Jaeger.

However, those have reached stalemate because of indecision over the continued involvement of Maplin’s current owner, private equity firm Rutland Partners, according to Sky News. EWM reportedly wants Rutland to retain a stake in Maplin.

The form any deal would take is not yet clear, although Day has previously bought businesses out of administration. A source close to Sky News indicated that Rutland would be open to a rescue deal in the form of a pre-pack administration.

Maplin’s struggles reflect the malaise felt by much of the retail sector at the moment.

Many of the major retailers including Tesco, M&S and Arcadia are currently going through redundancy rounds while Toys R Us is expected to fall into administration today after failing to find a buyer; thousands of jobs are at risk.