The future of more than 50 BHS stores has been thrown into question after its new owners put them under review.
However Retail Acquisitions, which acquired the embattled department store group from Sir Philip Green last week, insisted mass store closures were not on the cards.
Retail Acquisitions has circulated a list, seen by Property Week, to property firms. The company, which has hired agents Jackson Criss and Charles Palmer Property, insisted options for the 52 stores on the the list could include sub-letting or down-sizing as well as closure.
A spokesman said: “As with any new owner, Retail Acquisitions, together with BHS management, is looking at options for the property portfolio and its structure. Property consultants have been appointed, but this does not mean that any leases that may be under review will be sold, and certainly does not mean that store closure is the only option.
“Options could also include sub-letting under-utilised space or renegotiating payment terms. In addition, BHS management is exploring opening new stores in the right locations.”
BHS did reveal that two stores would close in Oxford and Foss Park “in the coming months”.
“BHS management has been clear, prior to the sale of the business, that certain loss-making stores might be sold at the right price,” the spokesman said.
Green last week maintained he had structured the deal in a way to avoid asset stripping by any new owner and said that he had deliberately not sold to a restructuring firm.
He said: “I didn’t want some restructuring firm. I wanted it to be as a going concern.
“The commitments they [Retail Acquisitions] made, made me comfortable.”