- Remaining 114 BHS stores ‘to cease trading by August 20’
- Move directly affects 5,000 shopfloor staff
- Comes as former owner Sir Philip Green is attacked by MPs for his role in BHS’s demise
BHS will disappear from the British high street next month as administrators shutter the collapsed department store chain’s remaining shops.
The 114 BHS stores that are continuing to trade will close by August 20, although many are expected to cease trading before that date.
Details of the store closures, which will directly affect more than 5,000 shop floor staff, are not yet known.
A spokeswoman for adminsitrators Duff & Phelps said: “Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, Joint Administrators of BHS have informed employees that the remaining stores will commence closure sales from today.
“It is anticipated that failing any last minute rescue attempt the last stores will cease trading by Saturday 20 August. There are no specific dates for the closure of stores yet.”
It comes after administrators revealed last month that they were winding down the 88-year-old business after failing to find a buyer for the beleaguered retailer, which plunged into administration in April.
The joint Business, Innovation and Skills and Work and Pensions committee concluded that Green was “ultimately responsible” for BHS’s collapse.
Green sold the business for a nominal £1 to Dominic Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions consortium in March last year, but it plunged into administration just 13 months later under the weight of a £571m black hole in its pension scheme.
The billionaire had promised to “sort” the deficit during a gruelling six-hour probe by MPs last month, although he is yet to reach an agreement with the Pensions Regulator.
MP Frank Field, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, has demanded that the Green family writes “a very large cheque” to plug the gap.
On Friday it emerged that the Cabinet Office was reviewing Green’s knighthood, which could be stripped from the Arcadia tycoon by The Queen, if the move is recommended by the forfeiture committee.
Following BHS’s collapse, around 50 of its stores have already closed, with the loss of more than 1,300 jobs.
It is thought that new tenants have already been lined up for some shops, but the future of BHS’s 11,000 employees remains less certain.
Administrators Duff & Phelps have, however, secured the sale of BHS’s 70 international stores and its online operations to Qatar’s Al Mana Group.