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Timeline: BHS enters administration

By Vivian Hendriksz


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Confirmed: BHS has officially entered into administration after last-minute negotiations to rescue the high street department store group failed to come through. The department store group, which at the time counts 11,000 employees and 164 UK stores, collapse is said to be the biggest high street insolvency since the bankruptcy of Woolworths in 2008.

Duff & Phelps have been appointed administrators and aim to keep stores open as long as possible as they seek to find a suitable buyer for the high street chain. “The group has been undergoing restructuring and, as has been widely reported, the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business. These negotiations have been unsuccessful. In addition property sales have not materialised as expected in both number and value,” said Duff & Phelps in a statement on Monday.

BHS officially collapses into administration

“Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments. The directors therefore have no alternative but to put the group into administration to protect it for all creditors. The group will continue to trade as usual whilst the Administrators seek to sell it as a going concern. Further announcements will be made as appropriate in due course.” Although Duff & Phelps reportedly have up to 30 signs of interest shown in acquiring BHS already the future of the retailer remain very cloudy.

“It is with a deep heart that I have to report, despite a massive effort from the team, we have been unable to secure a funder or a trade sale,” wrote owner Dominic Chappell in a letter sent to employees Sunday night: “I would like to say it has been a real pleasure working with all of you on the BHS project, one I will never forget, you all need to keep you heads held high, you have done a great job and remember that it was always going to be very, very hard to turn around.” In his letter Chappell also indicated that employee wages for this month salaries would e paid for by the administrators.

With the government expected to make a statement on the closure of the 88 year old retail group sometime this afternoon, FashionUnited took a moment to look back over the events of the past year, since Retail Acquisitions took over BHS from Sir Philip’s Green Arcadia group to reflect on what went right, and what could have been done to possibly save BHS.

Photo: Wikimedia

Arcadia Group
duff and phelps
Mergers and acquisitions
Sir Philip Green