Troubled specialist retailer Wilsons The Leather Experts is fighting a last-ditch battle to keep its Nasdaq listing after the market ruled that it was breaching its qualification rules.

Wilsons said it would appeal against a Nasdaq decision that the company should be delisted, on the grounds that it no longer complied with the minimum US$10m stockholders' equity requirement for continued listing.

Wilsons had contacted Nasdaq on 30 April, requesting a stay of execution while it drew up a plan and put it into practice.

However, Nasdaq said the company had neither demonstrated "a definite plan" to achieve compliance in the near term, nor shown that it was sustainable in the longer term.

Nasdaq had earlier informed Wilsons that it had contravened the market's rules on two other counts - the closing bid price of its stock had been below $1.00 for 30 consecutive trading days; and the minimum market value of publicly held shares of the company's common stock had been below $5m for the same period.

Now Wilsons has requested a hearing before a Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel.

Pending the panel's decision, the company's shares will remain listed on Nasdaq.

Wilsons chief executive Michael Searles resigned his post at the end of March amid mounting losses.

However, the company narrowed its first quarter losses to $13.4m.