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Final weeks for Britain's BHS store

Friday, June 03, 2016 - 01:33

British department store BHS will soon close its doors for the final time after administrators fail to find a buyer for the 88-year-old chain. Hayley Platt reports.

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Staff at British department store BHS console each other. The 88 year-old high street chain is to be wound down - after failing to find a buyer. Leaving more than 10,000 jobs at risk. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED BHS EMPLOYEE ON THE LEFT, SAYING: "Obviously everyone hoped for a positive outcome." (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED BHS EMPLOYEE ON THE RIGHT, SAYING: "And everyone had been feeling positive, and everyone hoped that something good was going to come from it but.." Up to 10 bidders had shown an interest in the chain. But in the end there were no takers. Competition from the likes of M&S and Primark just part of the problem. SOUNDBITE (English) JP MORGAN, MARKET ANALYST, NANDINI RAMAKRISHAN, SAYING: "Looking at the larger industry it is a bit challenging now to have a brick and mortar store and attract the same amount of customers when you have such a large presence and growing presence and ecommerce/online retailers and that sort of industry. Philip Green's Arcadia group paid 200 million pounds for BHS in 2000. But the business had been losing money for years. Eventually selling for £1 in 2015. Now it has a pension deficit of more than 500 million pounds. The closure comes at an already difficult time for British retail - and will leave a glut of real estate on Britain's high streets. SOUNDBITE (English) JP MORGAN, MARKET ANALYST, NANDINI RAMAKRISHAN, SAYING: "Big issues like Brexit, political uncertainty as well as Euro skepticism across Europe have certainly dampened a bit of the general European and in that UK consumer confidence momentum." BHS will now spend the coming weeks holding very final sales in its 163 stores.

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Final weeks for Britain's BHS store

Friday, June 03, 2016 - 01:33