Fashion giant Next has agreed an outline deal to snap up the Victoria’s Secret business in the UK.

Next is thought to have beaten Marks & Spencer in the race to become the lingerie specialist’s preferred UK franchise partner, Sky News reported.

The deal, if concluded, follows the collapse of Victoria’s Secret’s British division last month, when Deloitte was called in as administrator

While the foundations of a deal have been laid, the future of Victoria’s Secret’s UK stores depends upon deals with landlords to offer favourable terms as bricks-and-mortar retail readjusts following the Covid outbreak.

It is thought likely that the preference would be to continue with a prominent bricks-and-mortar presence, but some of Victoria’s Secret’s 25 branches may be closed.

Next has an exclusivity agreement until the end of September to finalise a deal, according to Sky. There was said to have been substantial interest in Victoria’s Secret’s UK business, including from Marks & Spencer.

A deal would add to Next’s stable of brands, while Victora’s Secret’s Pink brand might draw in younger shoppers.

Marks & Spencer, which has traditionally only sold its own brands, said earlier this year that it would seek to add third-party labels to its fashion mix.