KPMG brought in as struggling BHS looks to cut costs

KPMG has been engaged by struggling retailer BHS to explore a number of options to shrink its store empire.

Among the possible routes being explored by the Big Four firm, according to The Sunday Telegraph, are a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) and individual negotiations with landlords to reduce rental outlays.

The company’s owners – Retail Acquisitions – are believed to be looking at closing up to 50 of its 170 shops.

Grant Thornton is understood to be looking at ways to ease the burden of the firm on its struggling pension scheme, facing a shortfall of well over £200m.

In March last year, colourful retailer Sir Philip Green announced that he was selling BHS Group Ltd, which he had owned for 15 years – to little-known Retail Acquisitions, itself formed just a few months earlier, for £1.

A spokesman for Retail Acquisitions told the paper: “BHS has stated publicly many times since the acquisition that it would like to take steps to address a number of unprofitable stores. This may involve discussions with some landlords, and KPMG will help us in this process.”

“We have made no secret of the fact that like other companies we have a pension deficit that we would like to address also and we continue to take advice in relation to this complex area.

“Our turnaround plan is still in its first year. Although we still have a long way to go, we are entirely confident that we will regain our place as an iconic British high street brand.”

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