High Street stalwart BHS under scrutiny
Creditors of troubled High Street department store British Home Stores have voted to allow a cut in rents for some of its UK stores in a bid to transform the loss-making business.
The chain’s riches to rags story is well documented, with retail billionaire Sir Phillip Green buying BHS in 2000 for £200m, then selling it 15 years later for £1.
Now, the company has debts of more than £1.3bn and is hoping to address the situation by cutting rents, while others will pay the same rent on more manageable terms.
Harris Lamb’s Head of Retail, David Walton, says: “BHS has been a stalwart of the high street for decades. I can recall being taken into BHS cafés by my Mum.
“BHS is a name that everyone recognises However, it doesn’t seem to have evolved like other retailers… its sale in recent years for just a pound, reflecting the value of the business was a clear indication of the decline.
“From a property point of view, the brand’s estate has not evolved either. The properties have often been bypassed by city centre redevelopments leaving the stores in secondary positions, and historic institutional leases have prevented re-location.
“This is a retailer that will clearly see continued change over the next few years and the estate will be under constant scrutiny as the business refines its offer.”