House of Fraser has drafted in advisers as the embattled department store business ramps up its turnaround plans.
The retailer has appointed KPMG to explore restructuring options, which could include the launch of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to streamline its portfolio and slash rents.
The move, first reported by Sky News, comes three months after it emerged that House of Fraser was talking to its landlords in a bid to reduce the rent bill on its 59 UK stores.
The beleaguered business is battling to cut its cost base and rejuvenate its fortunes after a torrid period of trading.
In-store sales fell 2.9% during the crucial Christmas trading period, while online sales tumbled 7.5% compared to the previous year.
House of Fraser wouldn’t be the first high street chain this year to turn to a CVA in a bid to right-size its property portfolio and reduce rents.
Carpetright and New Look have both launched CVAs since the turn of the year and will close around 150 stores between them.
A House of Fraser spokesman said: “House of Fraser can confirm that we have appointed KPMG and are working closely with them to look at options that best support our transformation programme.”
House of Fraser investor Sanpower has pledged to inject £30m into the business to help it cover overheads and costs associated with its turnaround plan.
But last month it emerged that the retailer was in talks with specialist lenders including Alteri as it bids to secure a further £40m in emergency funding.