Retail round-up on April 25, 2016: BHS on the verge of collapse as rescue talks fail, House of Fraser could change ownership again and Mark Price gets 'golden goodbye'
BHS may fall into administration risking 11,000 jobs
Beleaguered department stores chain BHS is likely to collapse into administration, possibly as early as today, after eleventh-hour rescue talks failed, two sources with knowledge of the company's plans told Reuters.
The move will put 11,000 high street jobs under threat.
New owner Retail Acquisitions, a consortium led by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell, sought emergency funding to stay in business.
But Chappell told The Daily Telegraph: “At the moment it doesn’t look good.”
A spokesman said a statement was expected "about BHS's future", but refused to give more details.
House of Fraser’s Chinese owner eyes sale of department store chain
Chinese tycoon Yuan Yafei, who controls Sanpower conglomerate, is considering offloading House of Fraser after acquiring the UK department store chain just two years ago for £450m.
Sanpower Group’s chairman Yafei is reportedly in discussions with Hong Kong-listed footwear retailer C.banner International about a potential sale.
A takeover was not imminent, and that the talks would “have no impact on the day-to-day operations” of the 167-year-old retailer, according to a source close to House of Fraser.
Hong Kong-listed footwear retailer C.banner snapped up toy retailer Hamleys last year for about £100m.
Ex-Waitrose boss Mark Price receives £1.9m ‘golden goodbye’
John Lewis Partnership has handed the former Waitrose managing director Mark Price a £1.9m golden goodbye.
Price received £237,132 in compensation on top of £988,523 as payment in lieu of salary, car, pension and other benefits during the remainder of his contractual notice period, according to the Partnership's annual report.
He will also net an additional £642,541 in lieu of the six months’ paid leave he would have been entitled to as one of the perks of having worked at the retailer for over 25 years.
A spokesman for the John Lewis Partnership said of the near £1m payment that the timing of Price’s departure had been agreed in the “best interests of the partnership”. “That agreement had private contractual implications, hence the payment announced today,” he said.
Wyevale Garden Centres’ bid to acquire Dobbies could ‘risk hundreds of jobs’
Wyevale Garden Centres’ bid to snap up rival Dobbies from Tesco would ‘risk hundreds of jobs’, sources have told The Mail on Sunday.
Wyevale owner Terra Firma’s interest could threaten Dobbies’ Edinburgh head office, which employs about 180 employees.
It could also lead to the closure of stores in areas where the two firms had competing garden centres, taking job losses to as many as 400.