Retail entrepreneur John Kinnaird is understood to be in talks with fashion group Alexon to buy its struggling menswear chain Envy.

Alexon put Envy up for sale last summer and appointed Hawkpoint to conduct a strategic review of the business.

At present, Kinnaird is locked in talks about the future of beleaguered footwear chain Dolcis. This week, speculation mounted that Dolcis had filed for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) and the fate of the footwear chain could become known as soon as Monday. Dolcis has unexpectedly paid its staff to the end of the week, sparking further speculation about its future.

Kinnaird bought Dolcis from Alexon with the backing of Epic Private Equity for£2.7 million in December 2006. At the end of December 2007, Epic pulled out of the business and Kinnaird has been in talks with a potential new backer ever since.

Alexon also owns brands such as Dash, Eastex and Ann Harvey.