Mothercare is considering joining the likes of New Look and closing stores in an attempt to survive market pressures.

The specialist retailer could enter a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in a bid to reduce costs by shutting stores and lowering rents.

If agreed with lenders, the CVA could see the retailer close one third of its 143-strong store estate, according to The Sunday Times.

The market has been rife with speculation of a CVA since Mothercare appointed KPMG to assess its options, but this is the first time specific numbers have been reported.

Mothercare would join a host of high street retailers opting for CVA as 2018 gets under way. New Look and Select are currently in the midst of CVAs while Carpetright is also considering the process. The now-bust Toys R Us underwent a CVA shortly before it collapsed.

Mothercare shocked the market last week when it abruptly appointed new boss David Wood, a former Kmart and Tesco executive, in place of Mark Newton-Jones.

The nursery retailer’s turnaround plan began to go awry last year as the business made redundancies. Poor Christmas trading led to a profit warning, which was followed by a decision to ask its lenders to defer covenant testing while KPMG examined its options.