Monday, September 27, 2021

BHS rises from the ashes as BHS International

BHS has announced it would return to trading on Thursday as an online exclusive, a month after its final high street stores closed down.

Once a staple in the British retail industry, British Home Stores fell into administration after the now infamous collapse and subsequent failure to find a buyer.

Qatar-based firm Al Mana Group will now relaunch the British icon as “BHS International” and offer its best selling ranges online to its 1.2 million customers.

This will include lightings and home furnishings which were responsible for around 75 per cent of the online sales when the retail giant was still trading. 

Kitchen, dining and clothing ranges are also poised to feature on the website next month.

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The new incarnation will be based in London and hire 84 people who were made redundant when the company fell into administration.

BHS International said they have no affiliation to the pair deemed responsible for its predecessor‘s demise: Sir Phillip Green and Dominic Chappell.

After Green sold BHS to the three-time bankrupt Chappell, it quickly fell into administration costing 11,000 employees their jobs and a pension deficit of £571 million.

The figure, which is estimated to effect around 22,000 former employees‘ pensions, is now thought to be closer to £700 million.

Green has promised to “sort” the deficit and has come under increasing pressure from the Pensions Regulator and various MPs to do so out of his own pocket.

Green and Chappell are thought to have profited significantly from the collapse of the retailer.

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David Anderson of BHS International, who will oversee the launch, said: “We are thrilled to be relaunching this iconic brand back into the UK. It had a loyal customer base with around 1.2 million British shoppers who bought from us online, and for our relaunch we have managed to secure many of the products they liked the most.

“In addition to this, we have developed a new specially designed online platform for our UK business so we are not inheriting any legacy systems, and we were able to recruit the majority of people who worked on the profitable online and international operations of BHS before it went into administration.

“So although we are starting again in the UK, we have a number of advantages over a typical start-up. We are nimble and efficient, but with a great brand, strong customer base and a proven and dedicated team.”

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