DESPITE administrators being close to securing a rescue deal for clothing retailer Bonmarché 240 jobs could be on the line with plans to close 30 'underperforming' stores before Christmas.

Nine companies were in the running for Bonmarché, with retailer Peacocks chosen as the preferred bidder.

The deal, which secures the future of Bonmarché's 285 remaining stores, has not been finalised and is subject to negotiations with landlords.

Around 240 people at the 30 stores "will potentially be made redundant".

Twenty-five others have already gone in head office and middle management.

"Whilst we are optimistic that a transaction can be completed, ultimately it will depend on ongoing negotiations between our preferred bidder and landlords on market rents, and there remains a risk that the business could cease to trade," administrator Tony Wright from FRP Advisory said.