Department store giant Debenhams, which has five shops here, has become the latest retailer to take steps towards closures.
The company has confirmed it is consulting accountants over plans for the future, which may include store closures.
However, it had no further details on whether its five Northern Ireland units will be affected. While it has suffered falling sales in recent years, it has been a trailblazer for department store fashion as one of the first to introduce ranges by designers aimed at high street shoppers.
This year, actress and Oscar-winning writer Rachel Shenton became the face of dresses sold in Debenhams by designer Richard Quinn.