New BHS owners are ‘exploring options’

The new owners of store chain BHS are “exploring options” including closures for the future of around a third of its 171 sites, it has emerged.

It comes less than a week after retail tycoon Sir Philip Green announced the sale of the loss-making business to a consortium of little-known investors called Retail Acquisitions for a nominal sum reported to be as little as £1.

BHS stressed that options for the future of the stores may include sub-letting under-used space or renegotiating payment terms as well as the possibility of closure.

It issued a statement seeking to downplay a report in Property Week that said leases on 52 sites, including one in London’s Oxford Street, were being primed for sale netting around £30 million for Retail Acquisitions.

“As with any new owner, Retail Acquisitions, together with BHS management, is looking at options for the property portfolio and its structure,” a spokesman said.

“Property consultants have been appointed, but this does not mean that any leases that may be under review will be sold, and certainly does not mean that store closure is the only option.

“Options could also include sub-letting under-utilised space or renegotiating payment terms. In addition, BHS management is exploring opening new stores in the right locations.

“BHS management has been clear, prior to the sale of the business, that certain loss-making stores might be sold at the right price.”