Furniture-to-fashion retailer BHS is proposing a company voluntary arrangement in the hope of cutting the rent bill across its circa 160-store estate.

The retail chain — acquired by Retail Acquisitions Ltd from Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group last year — will see its CVA plan voted on by landlords at a meeting scheduled for 23rd March.

BHS is trying to cut its rent and move to monthly, rather than quarterly, payments. It has split its properties into three categories. These include 77 stores unaffected by the CVA; 47 where it wants a cut to market levels and a final 40 where substantial cuts to rent are required if they are not to be jettisoned.

"It is hoped that the store closure number will be kept to a minimum," BHS said in a statement.

Chief executive Darren Topp said: "The CVA proposal that we have announced today is a necessary milestone in resetting British Home Stores to ensure its long term future as an iconic British retail brand."