BHS’s collapse wasn’t just painful for the thousands of workers affected, it also hit troubled fashion retailer Bonmarché.
The plus-size specialist blamed the fact that shoppers flocking to BHS to grab a bargain partly hampered its half-year sales.
But Bonmarché’s woes go well beyond keeping up with rivals that are winding down.
Its share price has been in the doldrums after two profits warnings in the space of a year.
New boss Helen Connolly, a former Asda executive, today talked of a move towards “modernising and simplifying operations”, which now appears urgent as it made paltry profits of £2m in its half-year.
One plan is to focus on just one target customer – ‘Lisa’ – as opposed to four previously, to focus the minds of staff.
But while there are worrying signs, analysts have said Bonmarché could be helped by shoppers trading down as the threat of a downturn pervades.
It seems strange to wish for troubled economic times but it could arguably help the business.
Elsewhere, Lidl has kicked off an intriguing social media campaign around pricing, Australian stationery chain Smiggle’s boss has defended its rapid expansion and Theresa May has softened her stance on forcing companies to have workers on boards.
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Quote of the day
“I believe that the direction of travel is right, but that the effectiveness of execution needs to improve.”
Bonmarche chief executive, Helen Connolly
Today in numbers
The fall in like-for-likes at Bonmarche in the 26 weeks to September 24
The number of stores that Smiggle will have in the UK when it opens it latest shop next month
DIY giant Kingfisher, owner of B&Q, reports third-quarter figures and etailer AO.com unveils half-year results.
James Wilmore, news editor