Women’s fashion chain Select Retail is understood to be on the brink of administration, the latest casualty of dire trading in the fashion sector.

The struggling 250-store chain is thought to have lined up accountant Deloitte to advise it on its finances and act if rescue talks fail.

A Select spokeswoman said: “Final-stage negotiations with a new investor are proceeding and we hope that this will have a positive conclusion.”

The group’s management was locked in board meetings on Friday afternoon. However, speculation is rife that Select did not meet its December rent obligations and has not yet ordered stock for the spring and summer season. It is also thought to have put all its properties on the market.

If the business does go into administration, it will be a blow to director Nigel Fisher, who ploughed his life savings into founding the business.