Retail news round-up on June 18, 2015: BHS’ flagship store up for review, Fat Face set to make US debut and Scottish retail sales
BHS’ flagship on Oxford Street up for review
BHS is reviewing the future of its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street in a move that could culminate in the department store chain moving out of the West End site, The Indepdendent reported The loss-making retailer has appointed the specialist estate agents Harper Dennis Hobbs and Jackson Criss to detail options for the site, which BHS has occupied for about 40 years. Possibilities being explored include subdividing the space with other retailers – a move that would be aided by the existing three entrances to the store.
But BHS chief executive Darren Topp said that the company would not rule out selling the store’s lease if a knockout offer was received. He confirmed that other retailers had already shown an interest in taking part of the space before BHS called in the agents.
Fat Face coming to US this autumn
Fashion chain Fat Face is gearing up to expand across the Atlantic with its US debut in the autumn, according to boss Anthony Thompson. The retailer will open its first outlet in the Boston area, Massachusetts, with three more expected by May 2016. Thompson said that the company looks to open ‘five to 10’ in the next 18 months. The first store has been preceded by a US website and there are further plans for dedicated language websites and concessions in Europe.
Scottish retail sales tumble 3.1% in May
Scottish retail value slipped 3.1% last month, hit by tough economic conditions and chilly winds. The latest Scottish Retail Consortium/KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor figures show sizeable falls in both food and non-food sales in May over last year, down 2.1% and 3.9% respectively. The worst declines were in fashion and footwear, whose early spring revival took a set back as May’s weather turned for the worse. The value of sales on a like-for-like basis last month, excluding the effects of new store openings, were down 3.5% over a year ago.