Rent-to-own specialist BrightHouse intends to shut 30 stores with the loss of up to 350 jobs, Retail Week has learned.

The closures across the country amount to about 10% of its estate. The same proportion of staff is affected.

The retailer hopes to redeploy some of them.

BrightHouse has begun consulting with staff, a process that will take two months.

The retailer, which employs about 2,600 people altogether, is shutting the branches amid tough high street trading conditions and as part of its turnaround programme following changes to its business model ordered by the Financial Conduct Authority.

A BrightHouse spokesman told Retail Week: “We have taken the very difficult decision to close 30 stores in the next two months. All employees affected by our proposals have been informed.

“We are working to redeploy as many people as possible into alternative roles but redundancies will be inevitable.

“We will be speaking to all customers affected by the store closures and either transferring them to another local store or serving them online. We’re also introducing PayPoint, allowing customers to pay BrightHouse in cash at 28,000 locations across the UK.”

The store closures are the latest as many high street retailers battle harsh trading conditions and high costs.

Last year, 14 shops closed every day and there have been more closures in the new year. It was revealed today that 27 HMV branches will shut following the purchase of the retailer out of administration.