A store is re-born

Collapsed store group BHS revived as online retailer

Bhs store, Edinburgh (pic by Terry Murden)
Bhs store, Edinburgh (pic by Terry Murden)

BHS is to relaunch this week as an online retailer five months after it collapsed under a mountain of debt.

It will begin trading with a range of lighting and home furnishing products which accounted for 75% of sales before it went into administration earlier this year.

It will open for business on Thursday and while the range will be more limited than it sold in the stores it will add new ranges.

It has also developed a new online platform which it believes will be one of the most customer-friendly in the market. 

The new BHS, which will be headquartered in London, has 84 employees – mainly former employees.

David Anderson, managing director, BHS International and a former executive at the old BHS, said: “We are thrilled to be relaunching this iconic brand back into the UK. 

“It had a loyal customer base with around 1.2 million British shoppers who bought from us online, and for our relaunch we have managed to secure many of the products they liked the most.

“Although we are starting again in the UK, we have a number of advantages over a typical start-up.”  

BHS International (UK), which was formed by The Al Mana Group, acquired the online business, the international franchise business, and the BHS brand in June, soon after parent group collapsed.

The Al Mana Group operates in a number of sectors including retail, automotive, real estate, media and technology. It represents a range of high profile brands including: Zara, Mango, Armani Exchange, United Colors of Benetton and Reebok. 

At the time of BHS going into administration, its international and online businesses were profitable and growing, and many of the key people running these have been retained by The Al Mana Group. 

They include Mr Anderson, buying director Sara Bradley and head of creative Dave West.

BHS was owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green until March 2015, when he sold it to retail entrepreneur Dominic Chappell.

The collapse saw 163 stores close, cost 11,000 jobs and left a £571million black hole in its pension fund.

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