Jobs fears for BHS staff as retailer goes into administration - but no one to blame says owner
Struggling retailer BHS has filed for administration putting jobs at risk.
Insolvency firm Duff & Phelps has officially announced that BHS has entered administration.
The action comes after the retailer failed to find a buyer for its business or property assets.
The move threatens about 11,000 jobs nationally including those at its store in Northampton’s Abington Street, where it has also just opened a food store.
But administrators Duff & Phelps say the group will continue to trade as usual while a buyer is sought.
BHS owner Dominic Chappell has previously said that no one is to blame for the firm’s collapse.
He said: “No one is to blame.
“It was a combination of bad trading and not being able to raise enough money from the property portfolio.
“In the end, we just couldn’t reach an agreement with Arcadia over pensions,” he told the Press Association,
He added that he will continue to work with the administrators Duff & Phelps to “find a solution post the administration”.
BHS was bought last year by a consortium called Retail Acquisitions, headed by Mr Chappell, for £1 from retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green, the owner of the Arcadia retail empire.
BHS has debts of more than £1.3 billion, including a pension fund deficit of £571 million. Sir Philip is reported to have offered £80 million towards the cost of BHS pensions, though the regulator could still pursue further payment from the retail billionaire.
Sir Philip bought BHS for £200 million in 2000.
Rival retailer Sports Direct is understood to want to some of BHS’s 164 stores, but will only do so if it does not have to take on any pension liabilities.
David Gill, Usdaw national officer, said: “We are very concerned about speculation that BHS is on the verge of going into administration.
“We are seeking urgent clarification from the company and urging them to change their attitude to trade unions and begin a dialogue with us at this difficult and worrying time for staff.
“We also urge the company to comply with the law, consult staff and Usdaw as the union for BHS workers on the future of the business.
“I am writing to members working in BHS to reassure them that we will provide the support, advice and representation they require.”#