A sale of troubled young fashion retailer Bay Trading was imminent as Retail Week went to press. Heads of terms on a deal had been signed, a source close to the situation said.

The intention was to sell the business, which is in administration, as a going concern to a trade buyer – potentially a supplier. Retailer Select, which had earlier expressed an interest, is not the buyer.

It was unclear whether any buyer would take the entire business or just Bay Trading’s stock. However, some interested retail parties are understood to have found many stores unsuitable for absorption into their portfolios. Assuming a stores deal, it was unclear how many of the 175 shops the buyer would retain.

Bay Trading also has 80 concessions in retailers including Mackays and House of Fraser.

Bay Trading, which has 1,800 staff, hit the buffers in April, two days after parent company Alexon revealed the brand had made a £7.2m full-year loss before exceptionals. Like-for-likes fell 16 per cent.

Deloitte was appointed as administrator to Epcoscan, the company which trades as Bay Trading.