BHS to be wound down as rescue attempt fails

BHS to be wound down as rescue attempt fails

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Department store BHS will be wound down with the loss of up to 11,000 jobs after efforts to find a buyer failed.

The decision followed a lengthy bidding process aimed at saving BHS, which went into administration in April.

But none of the offers was judged acceptable by administrators Duff & Phelps, which blamed “seismic shifts” in the retail sector for the collapse of the chain.

All 163 BHS stores will be holding closing sales over the coming weeks.

Former owner Sir Philip Green said he was “saddened and disappointed” by the biggest retail collapse since Woolworths in 2008.

A spokesman said the billionaire Topshop owner had hoped to see the company sold as a going concern.

Staff at one London store were only informed of the decision by a journalist. Customers were then told to leave the store and the shutters closed.

Hilco Retail Services has been appointed to assist in the process of winding down the BHS store network.

Hopes of rescuing the store chain had rested on a late offer from a company led by retailer Greg Tufnell and reportedly backed by Portuguese money.

But sources told the BBC that the financial backing needed for the bid failed to materialise.

Other bidders who failed to convince the administrators included a consortium led by Matalan founder John Hargreaves, as well as separate offers from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley and Poundstretcher boss Aziz Tayub.