1. News
June 5, 2016

UK department store chain BHS to close 163 outlets

The 88-year-old UK department store chain British Home Stores (BHS) is set to close all its stores, leaving 11,000 jobs at risk.

The 88-year-old UK department store chain British Home Stores (BHS) is set to close all its stores, leaving 11,000 jobs at risk.

Administrator Duff & Phelps decided to close the chain after the sale process, which lasted for five weeks, could not attract a buyer.

This is the second biggest chain to have collapsed after Woolworths in the recent years.

"Although multiple offers were received, none were able to complete a deal due the working capital required to secure the future of the company."

Administrators believe that a prospective buyer would need at least £100m to serve as working capital, purchase stock and pay rents and salaries.

Agence France-Presse quoted Duff & Phelps as stating: "Despite the considerable efforts of the administrators and BHS senior management, it has not been possible to agree a sale of the business.

"Although multiple offers were received, none were able to complete a deal due the working capital required to secure the future of the company.

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"Our thoughts today are with the employees. We thank them for their professionalism and hard work. We would also like to thank the Great British public for helping us in our efforts to save BHS resulting in several weeks of significant sales."

Of the 11,000 employees, 8,000 are employed by BHS while 3,000 are non-BHS staff employed in-store.

Set up in 1928 in London, BHS has 163 stores and 74 franchises in around 20 countries.