Stevenage’s town centre BHS store could close as company enters administration

British Home Stores in The Forum, Stevenage.

British Home Stores in The Forum, Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

The Stevenage branch of British Home Stores could be set to close after the company entered administration this morning.

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The BHS Group has been seeking a buyer for the business after profits have stalled in recent years.

The Stevenage store in The Forum will still continue to trade while administrators Duff & Phelps – which were appointed this morning – find a financial solution for the firm.

A statement from Duff & Phelps issued today reads: “The BHS Group has been undergoing restructuring and, as has been widely reported, the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business.

“These negotiations have been unsuccessful. In addition property sales have not materialised as expected in both number and value.

“Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the BHS group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments.

“The directors therefore have no alternative but to put the group into administration to protect it for all creditors. It will continue to trade as usual while the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern. Further announcements will be made as appropriate in due course.”

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Sports Direct has been in talks to buy the UK business, but negotiations are thought to have faltered over the cost of plugging a £571 million pension deficit.

The store employs 11,000 people across the UK and is the biggest high street retailer to falter since Woolworths.

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