Card chain Clintons is considering plans to shut 38 shops in a bid to avoid insolvency, according to reports.

It is understood the high street retailer has appointed restructuring experts from FRP Advisory as it seeks to secure its future.

The business is looking at a move which could see the firm swap its debt for equity and shut about a fifth of its estate of 179 shops, according to the Times.

The newspaper reported that the business had considered a merger deal with rival Paperchase earlier this year.

However, Paperchase saw its brand and intellectual property bought by Tesco in January after it entered administration, and its stores ultimately closed for good.

Clintons is among retailers to have been affected by depressed high street footfall and competition from online rivals.

The reports quoted documents over the restructuring plan being proposed to creditors, which said Clintons “will have no option but to commence formal insolvency proceedings” if it does not secure a deal.

It comes a day after budget retailer Wilko confirmed it filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators, putting the future of its 400 stores and roughly 12,000 staff at risk.

Clinton and FRP have been contacted for comment.