A possible rescue of beleaguered value fashion retailer The Peacock Group was in danger of failing today (18 January), putting 10,000 jobs at risk.

If the owner of the Peacocks and Bonmarché chains were to fail, it would be the biggest UK retail collapse since Woolworths in 2008, reported the Financial Times.

The newspaper’s website said talks between chief executive Richard Kirk, chairman Allan Leighton and an unnamed investor had stalled, with a deal looking increasingly unlikely in time to save the company from administration.

Some reports suggested that KPMG might be appointed as administrators for the business as early as today.

The news came after Peacocks announced on Monday that it intended to appoint administrators for the business – a common tactic to protect the company from creditors, giving it 10 days to hammer out a deal.

The 700-store chain, which has debts of about GBP240m (US$370m), also said on Monday that it was in exclusive talks to sell its Bonmarché chain with an unnamed party – reported to be Sun European Partners.

Peacocks has been in discussions with advisors for some time on the restructuring of the business, but suffered a significant blow when principal banker RBS reportedly walked away from refinancing talks.

A spokesperson for the company told just-style that Peacocks had “nothing to add” to the announcements made on Monday.