Retail news round-up on March 15, 2016: Hermes investment firm against BHS' rent cut demands and Collapsed Australian retailer Dick Smith to return as an online-only store.

Investment firm Hermes against BHS’ demand to slash rents

Hermes Investment Management, the landlord of two BHS’ stores, has opposed the struggling department store chain’s Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and its demand to cut rents by 75% to ward off a fall into administration.

Hermes’ Chris Taylor said CVAs “should be approached with caution”.

He added: “They have the potential to create unfair competition on the high street by prejudicing some retailers at the expense of others and compromising the position of landlords.

“Central to our occupier-led approach is a close and open dialogue with all our tenants. We therefore want to reach a solution that is fair for all our tenants and do not believe BHS’ CVA proposal will achieve that.”

Australia’s to launch Dick Smith as online-only after acquisition

Australian electronics business Dick Smith, which was placed in administration in January this year, is to make a comeback as an online-only brand, following a surprise takeover by entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer Ruslan Kogan.

His e-commerce department store,, snapped up the failed chain from receivers Ferrier Hodgson. It has bought the Dick Smith brand, trademarks, customers, loyalty databases and the existing online business in both Australian and New Zealand.

Kogan intends to launch Dick Smith as an online-only store on June 1, 2016, while permanently shut its brick-and-mortar businesses.