The online-only revival of collapsed department store chain BHS has gone from strength to strength after it recorded a surge in sales in its final quarter.
The retailer, now known as BHS.com and owned by the Al Mana Group of Qatar, said total sales increased 43 per cent in the last three months of last year, which covered the Christmas trading period.
It attributed the performance in its home accessories, lighting and women’s sleepwear divisions, all of which saw sales increase by 43 per cent, 57 per cent and 107 per cent respectively.
BHS.com was launched as a “start-up” in September 2016, when Al Mana acquired the brand, the website and the international franchise business of BHS while it was under administration.
Managing director Kevan Mallinder said BHS.com’s first advertising campaign in October boosted the retailer’s performance, with a 34 per cent increase in website visitors over a two-week period at the time.
“As a start-up, we are delighted that our sales continue to grow quickly,” he said.
“We believe the combination of three things were key to this growth: great new products, making it easier for people to find these on our website; and launching our first ad campaign to tell the British public that we’re here.
“Our size continues to be a real strength in this challenging market, as we can act very quickly in responding to the changing demands and tastes of our customers.”
The original BHS chain collapsed in April 2016, just over a year after Retail Acquisitions – headed up by Dominic Chappell – acquired it from Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group for £1.
The fall of the retailer left 11,000 people out of work and a £571 million pension black hole which subsequently grabbed headlines and sparked a parliamentary inquiry as well as debates over corporate governance.
While Green eventually agreed to inject £363 million of his cash into the BHS pension scheme, The Pensions Regulator has continued to pursue Chappell and last week he was found guilty on three counts for failing to providing information to the group when requested.