The last remaining BHS stores will close their doors for the final time on Sunday, marking the end of the retail giant’s 88-year history.
The retail giant will close the remaining 22 stores that are left in its network, which included more than 150 stores across the UK earlier this year.
British Homes Stores, which opened its first store in London’s Brixton neighbourhood in 1928, was placed into administration in March but failed to find a buyer.
Administrators Duff & Phelps have already shut 141 stores over recent weeks, including the company’s flagship store on London’s Oxford Street.
Up to 11,000 jobs and 22,000 pensions have been affected as a result of the BHS collapse. The company’s previous owners, Dominic Chappell and Sir Philip Green, were criticised for mismanaging the chain and failing to protect the company pension scheme. They appeared at a parliamentary inquiry and they could now face criminal investigations.
The parliamentary inquiry accused Green of extracting significant sums of money from BHS and failing to address a £571 million deficit in the company’s pension fund.
Green is spending the summer on his luxury yacht. He is offering to plug a gap in the company’s pension hole if the probe is dropped, according to Sky News.
Green, the chairman of the Arcadia group, which also owns Topshop, sold BHS to Chappell in March for £1 even though he had once declared himself bankrupt and had next to no experience of running a large retail company.
BHS has failed to innovate and keep up with the competition over the last two decades, giving the chain a jaded feel. The owners have been criticised for failing to put the money in that BHS needed.
MPs criticised billionaire Green in a report for being “the “unacceptable face of capitalism”. He could be stripped of his knighthood.
The closure of the final 22 stores will be a big blow to some of the towns that considered the retailer a key department store in their area.
The final 22 stores to close are:
- Surrey Quays, London
- St Enoch Centre, Glasgow
- Metrocentre, Tyne and Wear
- Merryhill, West Midlands
- Romford, Essex
- Harrow, north west London
- Walthamstow, east London
- Uxbridge, west London
- Bexleyheath, Kent
- Kingston, Surrey
- Hanley, Staffordshire
- St James, Northampton
- Wood Green, north London
- Cribbs Causeway, Bristol
- St Albans, Hertfordshire