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BHS Announces First Wave of Store Closures

BHS continues to trim its business operations.

Administrators Duff & Phelps announced that 20 of the U.K. retailer’s stores will shutter at the end of July, impacting about 600 BHS employees, Oxford Mail reported. Affected locations will end trading on July 23 and prepare for closure by July 25.

“We hope that other retailers, including Sir Phillip Green’s Arcadia group, will offer employment to these experienced, dedicated and loyal staff who suddenly find themselves unemployed,” Dave Gill, national officer for shop workers’ trade union Usdaw, said.

BHS’ store closures follow the company’s declining state. The retailer entered administration in April and in June, Duff & Philips revealed that attempts to find a buyer had failed. As a result, 11,000 company jobs were put at risk and 163 BHS stores are currently holding going-out-of-business sales.

Although Sir Philip Green is being blamed for the retailer’s downfall, he said he will offer 1,000 BHS employees jobs at Arcadia Group, which is about 10 percent of total affected employees.

“We believe there is hope for the remaining stores with the administrators continuing to seek buyers and we are still waiting to hear the details of Sir Phillip’s offer to ‘sort’ the pension scheme,” said Gill. “In the meantime we are providing the support, advice and representation our members require at this difficult time.”