Debenhams shares plunged 17% after KPMG was called in to help draft emergency plans to save the troubled retailer.

The department store giant - that has stores at Wrexham's Eagles Meadow, Chester and Cheshire Oaks - is said to be considering a list of options including a company voluntary agreement (CVA), a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing shops.

County Times:

Inside Debenhams at Wrexham's Eagles Meadow

The company has brought in KPMG to help draw up the turnaround plans, according to The Sunday Telegraph which first reported the news.

If Debenhams charges ahead with a CVA, it would join a raft of retailers including New Look, Carpetright and Mothercare, who have opted for the restructuring tool despite anger from landlords who have argued it leaves them out of pocket.

The news sent shares down more than 17% in morning trading.

Debenhams last month said it would swing the axe on up to 90 staff at its fashion and home departments as part of a major cost-cutting drive.

County Times:

Debenhams at Chester's Grosvenor Shopping Centre

In January it announced plans to ramp up efficiency savings, with another £10 million earmarked for this financial year and £20 million extra annually.

Chief executive Sergio Bucher, who is leading the shake-up, then went on to slash 320 store management roles in February.

In June, Debenhams issued its third profit warning this year as trading came in "below plan".

To compound matters, Debenhams is also the subject of takeover talk, with speculation building that Mike Ashley is set to merge it with his newly acquired House of Fraser.

Mr Ashley owns just under 30% of Debenhams, close to the threshold at which he must launch an official takeover bid.