Struggling fashion chain New Look has convinced landlords to approve a blanket switch to pay rent based on revenues for individual branches in a move that could set "a powerful precedent".
The firm launched a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) - a controversial form of insolvency - last month to push through the changes.
The fate of the chain and its more than 11,000 employees was contingent on three quarters of its creditors, including property owners, backing the proposals, otherwise it would have gone bust.
Chief executive Nigel Oddy thanked them for giving the plan the green light, although the company did not disclose how many voted in favour.
Rent for 402 shops will now be based on turnover with the remaining 68 stores paying no rent.
Retailers have typically resorted to CVAs to close stores or secure cheaper rents, but rarely to shake up the structure of those bills.
Katherine Campbell, head of real estate disputes at law firm Reed Smith, described the outcome as "unprecedented".
She said: "The agreement totally reshapes New Look’s relationship with its landlords. The sector has never seen anything like this. This a watershed moment and could set a powerful precedent."
It comes two years after New Look's last CVA to shut struggling stores, which won the approval of almost all creditors including landlords. This time around some creditors were more hostile to the plans.
Ms Campbell added: "You could almost hear the collective groan of property owners across the country. Struggling tenants everywhere will now try and negotiate similar agreements.
"It will be interesting to see if it will be possible to put this particular genie back in the bottle."
An executive close to the process said that the debate should not be about turnover-based rents.
"The debate is the financial viability of many businesses and the fact that most of these properties are now not worth anything like what they were worth. There is a lot of pain being taken by a lot of people," the source said.
Rivals including Mike Ashley's Frasers empire and All Saints have also been asking landlords about a switch but on a case-by-case basis.
Melanie Leech, chief executive at the British Property Federation, said the process was a misuse of CVAs.
"CVAs were designed to support businesses in genuine distress. We support this rescue culture, but the result clearly demonstrates how the process is now wrongfully being used as a weapon by businesses to rip up leases permanently."
Existing debt, coupled with future costs and an accelerated shift from bricks-and-mortar to online, forced New Look to seek a deal with lenders.
Lenders will now inject a further £40m into the business to steady the ship. Its backers include Brait, the South African investment vehicle which originally bought the fashion brand for £780m in 2015.