Remaining BHS Stores Set To Close Within Weeks

The remaining BHS stores are reportedly set to close over the next four weeks, putting 5,000 staff out of work.

According to Sky News, administrators Duff & Phelps will announce today the last 114 BHS outlets still trading will start closing over the coming weeks with brand disappearing from the high street by 20 August.  The report said 50 BHS stores have already closed, with the loss of more than 1,300 jobs.

After failing to find a buyer for the whole business, administrator Duff & Phelps recently sold BHS’ 70 overseas stores and online business to Qatari retail group Al Mana. It had continued to seek buyers for the UK stores, although hopes of saving a large chunk of the stores have all but faded with sites now likely to be sold off on a piecemeal basis.

The news comes amid today’s publication of a damning report by MPs on the retailer’s failure. It accuses Sir Philip Green, the billionaire former owner of BHS, of choosing to rush through the offloading of a business that was losing money and encumbered with a massive pension fund deficit, to a buyer who he was aware was “manifestly unsuitable”.

Read the full report on the parliament.uk website

NAM Implications:

• Another retail brand leaves the High Street…i.e. slightly more concentration in the channel
• Key issue will be the precedent set re other business closures in the UK

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