With loss of 11,000 jobs, the British department store chain BHS is to be placed in liquidation as liquidators called in after rescue bids fail. This is the biggest retail collapse in the UK since the demise of Woolworths in 2008. The liquidation decision followed a five week long bidding process, which resulted in failing to find a suitable buyer.
In order to fund working capital, administrators Duff & Phelps expressed beliefs that a potential buyer would have needed at least £100m on day one. The 88-year-old-retailer is believed to have received a number of offers for buying part of the company, to which the administrators have disagreed, stating that is was in the best interest of creditors to try and sell the business as a whole.
Prior to the confirmation in regards to the closing of the retailer, it was thought possible that Greg Tufnell, the former Mothercare boss, might have been buying the chain. According to various sources, a late 11th bid may have also come in from Mike Ashley, the founder of Sports Direct as well, since he had been involved in the sales process but had failed to convince the administrators.
Hilco Retail Services will be assisting in the process of winding down the British store network. All 163 stores across the UK will be holding closing sales over the following weeks.