• BHS is expected to file for administration today
  • Talks with Sports Direct to purchase some of store estate appear to have broken down
  • 11,000 jobs at risk but staff expected to be paid this month

Struggling retailer BHS is expected to file for administration this morning, putting 11,000 jobs at the department store group on the line.

Retail Week revealed on Friday that BHS faced imminent administration. Efforts continued over the weekend to try and revive the retailer.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct is understood to have been in talks with the retailer to take on some of its 164-strong store estate. A sticking point has been BHS’s £571m pension deficit

It will likely be the highest-profile retail failure since the collapse of Woolworths in 2008.

Around 11,000 BHS staff stand to lose their jobs, but Retail Week understands employees will be paid this month.

If a rescue deal cannot be pulled off, which is increasingly unlikely, staff will be told about the collapse in a meeting at 11am this morning. Administrators, restructuring firm Duff & Phelps, will try to find a buyer for the company as a going concern, according to reports.

The collapse comes just weeks after BHS had a vital Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) voted through and secured £55m by selling the lease on its Oxford Street store.

The crucial vote meant that BHS, which has been loss-making for seven years, would pay landlords a reduced rent of 75% or 50% on 47 of its stores and 25% rent on 40 of its stores.

In addition to the CVA, BHS revealed plans to cut 370 jobs across its headquarters and stores in a bid to tackle its issues. It also pledged to invest in improving its online business and significantly reduce promotional activity in its efforts to transform the ailing business.

BHS was sold by Sir Philip Green to Retail Acquisitions for £1 in March last year.