Chemist Schlecker is understood to be interested in buying some of the stores of insolvent retailer Woolworths Germany. The health and beauty giant would convert the shops to its Schlecker XL fascia.

Other retailers interested in snapping up some of the 160 stores are thought to be discount grocers Lidl and Tedi, alongside drugstore chains DM and AS Watson-owned Rossmann. Woolworths Germany, which was backed by British investor Argyll Partners, hit the buffers after a poor Christmas, increased competition and weak sales at its discount operations.