Littlewoods could soon end its 70-year presence as a high street clothing retailer if a buyer can be found for its struggling clothing chain. The mail order and retail group, which yesterday posted a pre-tax profit of £34.5 million for the 12 months to 30 April, has revealed it is in talks to sell the 120-strong store group.

Discount retailers Peacock Group Plc and Primark are believed to have shown an interest according to the Financial Times, which added that the price tag could be more than £250 million.

The newspaper said the sale could be structured as a property transaction.

Peacock, in talks to buy discount clothing retailer Bonmarche for 60-£80 million, did not deny it was in talks with Littlewoods.