Next is asking landlords for lower rent on stores when neighbouring shops get a better deal through a CVA.

The retailer is making the request as a raft of hard-pressed retailers pursue restructuring through CVAs, The Sunday Times reported.

Retailers including Carpetright, Mothercare and New Look are among those to have launched CVAs amid punishing trading conditions.

However, the process, which allows retailers to shut or win rent reductions on underperforming branches, has angered other retailers who are unable to get similar breaks from property owners.

Next has been outperforming rivals. Earlier this month, it increased profit guidance after performance was boosted by sunny weather.

Next posted better than expected sales of £40m in first quarter and the retailer raised its guidance for full-year profit from £705m to £717m.

Although there has been a spate of retail CVAs, analysis by law firm RPC showed that the popularity of the process has fallen in the last few years, City AM reported.

RPC restructuring and insolvency senior associate Tim Moynihan said: “For under-pressure retailers, a CVA may represent a neat solution to its problems for a short period of time.

“However, the reality is that if it doesn’t address the structural weaknesses in a particular business, and if trading continues to decline, it is only delaying administration or liquidation.”

“There is also a risk of CVAs being commoditised and turned into a product to be rolled out to retailers, rather than each one being the bespoke and flexible solution that the legislation envisaged – and creditors consequently being less supportive of it as a process.”