Discount chain Poundworld - which has two stores in St Helens - is pursuing a restructuring plan that could see it shut around a third of its stores, putting more than 1,500 jobs in doubt.
Poundworld is considering a so-called Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), an insolvency procedure which would allow it to slash its rents and close stores.
Under the plans, Poundworld could close 100 of its 355 stores.
The company’s St Helens stores are based in the Hardshaw Centre and St Helens Retail Park.
Rising costs and a squeeze on consumer spending has forced several household names to pursue CVAs this year, including New Look, Byron, Prezzo and Carpetright.
Poundworld, which is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, is expected to announce the terms of the CVA next month.
Landlords will then vote on whether to approve the proposal. All of the major CVAs proposed this year have been rubber-stamped by landlords.
TPG Capital also owns restaurant chain Prezzo, which recently secured the backing of creditors for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). The plan will allow the Italian-themed chain to exit unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions.
A total of 94 of Prezzo’s 300 outlets will close, with around 500 jobs understood to be in the firing line, although many staff will be redeployed at other restaurants. The CVA proposal was backed by 88% of the creditors.