Last remaining BHS stores expected to close this week
- Credit: PA
The last 35 BHS stores are expected to close this week, with the doomed retailer set to disappear from the high street entirely by the weekend.
Administrators to the department store chain are set to shut 13 stores on Wednesday and 22 stores on Saturday, bringing an end to 88 years of British retail history.
Duff & Phelps and FRP Advisory have already overseen 128 closures over the past weeks, including BHS’s flagship Oxford Street store.
Among the stores due to close in the East of England this week are those at Norwich, Chelmsford and Lakeside (Thurrock), BHS branches in Ipswich, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Cambridge have gone in previous rounds of closures.
The department store’s collapse in April has affected 11,000 jobs, 22,000 pensions, sparked a lengthy parliamentary inquiry and left its high-profile former owners potentially facing a criminal investigation.
Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green has borne the brunt of the public fallout, having been branded the “unacceptable face of capitalism” by furious MPs.
Sir Philip owned BHS for 15 years before selling it to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015.
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Sir Philip has come under fire for taking more than £400m in dividends from the chain, leaving it with a £571 million pension deficit and for selling it to a man with no retail experience.
Veteran Labour MP Frank Field has asked the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to launch a formal investigation into the pair to ascertain if any criminal wrongdoing occurred during the sale of the chain and throughout their respective ownerships.
It has also emerged that Mr Field is probing Sir Philp’s Arcadia retail empire, which includes Topshop.