This morning, ScS confirmed that it is no longer in discussions regarding a potential acquisition of the business and assets of – potentially leaving a clear path open for rival bidder Mike Ashley.

This step has been taken despite ScS reporting that it was "in a strong position to manage the continued economic uncertainty and take advantage of opportunities" in a trading update yesterday.

Earlier this week, Sky News reported that retail tycoon Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct and House of Fraser, and a stakeholder in Debenhams, was competing with ScS to purchase the business and assets of online retailer, which already runs concessions in several House of Fraser stores, which Mike Ashley bought out of administration last summer.