Photo: Bhs Chapel Street

BHS to file for administration, putting 11,000 jobs at risk

High Street retailer BHS is to file for administration today, threatening almost 11,000 jobs.

Representatives of BHS have told the BBC that it will go into administration.

It comes after sources close to the company’s owners admitted that “things don’t look good”.

Talks with Sports Direct to sell some of BHS’s 164 stores collapsed over the weekend, and it is understood any buyer would do so only if it did not have to take on the £571m pension deficit.

Last year, BHS was sold by the retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green for £1. He had bought the chain for £200m in 2000.

Its new owners, Retail Acquisitions, said they would deliver £160m of funding to help turn around the fortunes of the chain, but have not been able to raise the sum.

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw said it was “seeking urgent clarification from the company”.

It also called on BHS to begin a dialogue “at this difficult and worrying time for staff”.

‘A bit dated’

Phil Dorrell, a retail analyst, told the BBC that going into administration “doesn’t mean the stores close today, it means a buyer is sought”.

The likelihood is BHS will be sold off “store by store” and “that probably means the name will disappear”, said Mr Dorrell, managing partner at Retail Remedy.

“The problem is their trading offer is in the 1980s,” he said. “Their stores look a bit dated. They are behind the times.”

Last month, the brand was rescued from the brink after creditors voted to accept a cut in the rent bill for about half of its stores.


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