RETAILER BHS is to enter administration after its administrators Duff & Phelps failed to find a buyer, with the closure of 163 stores and the loss of 11,000 jobs.
Administrators Duff & Phelps confirmed that although multiple offers for the business were received, attempts at a rescue deal collapsed because of the working capital required to secure the future of the company.
A range of firms have been lined up as liquidators to BHS, including Alteri, Hilco and Gordon Brothers.
“All 163 stores will be in close down sale mode over the coming weeks and whilst continuing efforts will be made by the administrators to sell stores, the jobs of 8000 members of staff are likely to go,” said Duff & Phelps in a statement, adding that a further 3,000 jobs of non-BHS employees who work in the store’s concessions may also be at risk.
Philip Duffy, managing director of Duff & Phelps said: “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.”
Duff & Phelps were appointed administrators to the struggling retailer as the shareholders failed in its negotiations to find a buyer for the business.
MPs have launched an probe into the sale of BHS in 2015, with the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee investigating the steps taken by Arcadia Group to ensure that current owners Retail Acquisitions Limited (RAL) was a responsible owner at the time of the sale.
Business secretary Sajid Javid has also instructed the Insolvency Service to launch an immediate investigation into the behaviour of BHS’s former directors and current senior management team following the retailers’ collapse.
Duff & Phelps’ announcement comes just 24 hours after fellow high street retailer Austin Reed confirmed that all of its stores are to close at the end of the month after administrators failed to find a buyer.
Political and economic uncertainty behind the fall in confidence
Harrison Beale & Owen will (HB&O) have a new chairman and managing director at the helm for 2017
Satvir Bungar promoted to managing director in the mergers and acquisitions team
Carolyn Brown appointed as the first head of client legal services practice RSM Legal