Jack Wills is in crunch talks with landlords as it seeks to stave off a CVA, Retail Week understands.

The preppy fashion chain wants to shutter a “small number of stores” – thought to be less than 10 – and slash rents at around a fifth of its shops to put itself on a firmer financial footing.

Property sources suggested Jack Wills is seeking rent reductions as deep as 40% at some of its 70 UK locations.

As previously reported, the retailer, owned by BlueGem Capital Partners, has already drafted in restructuring specialists AlixPartners to evaluate its options.

Industry insiders said a CVA was “one of a number of restructuring options being considered” by Jack Wills if discussions with landlords do not garner the required support.

The retailer is due to pay its quarterly rent bill later this month – a looming liability that has added a heightened sense of urgency to the talks.

Details have emerged just weeks after Jack Wills founder Peter Williams was ousted following a bust up with BlueGem.

The business has been hit by the fall in the value of the pound, which has made its clothes more expensive to source from Europe and Asia.

Jack Wills has also suffered from a push into wholesaling, leaving cash tied up in stock held by other retailers.

The financial pressures reportedly sparked clashes between Williams and BlueGem, which is in the process of organising a £20m refinancing of the company.

Jack Wills and AlixPartners both declined to comment.