Retailer to close store
Ashford’s BHS is set to close after administrators failed to find a buyer for the ailing retail chain.
The store, which has been trading in County Square for more than a decade, will be wound down although staff have not yet been given a closure date.
Other sites to close include Gravesend, Hempstead Valley, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, with the loss of more than 11,000 jobs.
Administrators Duff and Phelps said multiple offers were received but none were able to complete a deal which met the capital needs of the business, which has a pension deficit of more than £570 million.
All 163 BHS stores will close in the coming weeks.
Duff and Phelps said it would continue to try to sell stores but admitted 8,000 jobs “are likely to go.”
A further 3,000 jobs of nonBHS employees who work in the stores may also be at risk.
The company fell into administration in April.
The retailer was sold to city investors Retail Acquisitions for £1 last year by Arcadia Group, owned by the billionaire retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green, who also owns Topshop.
Mr Green has since been criticised over the sale and faced calls to answer questions in front of the business select committee.
Joint administrator Philip Duffy said “The British high street is changing and in these turbulent times, BHS has fallen as another victim of the seismic shifts we are seeing.
“The tireless work and goodwill of the existing management team and employees of BHS with the support of my team were not enough to change the fortunes of the company.”
BHS in County Square, Ashford, is set to close