Gifts Today magazine

BHS's new owners deny store closure plans

The future of more than 50 BHS stores is in doubt after its new owners began a review.

Retail Acquisitions bought the chain from Monaco-based tycoon Sir Philip Green last week and insisted that they had no plans for mass closures reports Retail Week.

However, the company has sent a list of 52 shops that could be sublet or made smaller or closed.

A spokesman said: “As with any new owner, Retail Acquisitions, together with BHS management, is looking at options for the property portfolio and its structure. Property consultants have been appointed, but this does not mean that any leases that may be under review will be sold, and certainly does not mean that store closure is the only option.

“Options could also include sub-letting under-utilised space or renegotiating payment terms. In addition, BHS management is exploring opening new stores in the right locations.”

Green last week insisted that he had structured the deal in a way to avoid asset stripping by any new owner and said that he had deliberately not sold to a restructuring firm.

He said: “I didn’t want some restructuring firm. I wanted it to be as a going concern.

“The commitments [Retail Acquisitions] made, made me comfortable.”

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