Thursday 22 February 2018

End of an era with BHS to shut as buyer bid fails

The headquarters of retailer British Home Stores in London
The headquarters of retailer British Home Stores in London

Paul Jarvis and Sam Chambers

British retailer BHS is to be liquidated, consigning the 88- year-old chain to history and leading to as many as 11,000 job losses after efforts to find a buyer failed.

None of the multiple potential purchasers were able to complete a deal due to the "working capital required to secure the future of the company", administrator Duff & Phelps said in a statement yesterday.

"The British high street is changing and in these turbulent times for retailers, BHS has fallen as another victim of the seismic shifts we are seeing," Philip Duffy, managing director of Duff & Phelps and joint administrator, said.

The retailer, which opened its first store in London almost nine decades ago, has struggled to grow sales against a backdrop of mounting competition and burdensome debt.

BHS's stores are likely to attract buyers given their "fundamentally good central locations," said Jonathan De Mello, head of retail at property consultancy Harper Dennis Hobbs. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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