BHS International rises from the ashes – online
A Qatari investor will relaunch the BHS department store brand this week – online.
Just one month after the historic British brand’s last physical store was closed, under the stewardship of administrators, BHS will reappear online this Thursday (September29) as BHS International.
The brand has been acquired by Al Mana Group, which will offer the best-selling department store lines and marketing to the 1.2 million-strong online database. Products including home furnishings, kitchenware, dining and some apparel will also go online.
About 80 staff of the 11,000 who lost their jobs when the chain collapsed will be employed in a London office to manage the operation.
David Anderson, a spokesman for the new BHS International, described the brand as “iconic”.
“We have developed a new specially designed online platform for our UK business so we are not inheriting any legacy systems, and we were able to recruit the majority of people who worked on the profitable online and international operations of BHS before it went into administration.
“So although we are starting again in the UK, we have a number of advantages over a typical start-up. We are nimble and efficient, but with a great brand, strong customer base and a proven and dedicated team.”
Anderson and his staff are unrelated to the company’s previous owners. Sir Philip Green sold BHS to thrice-bankrupted Dominic Chappell before it subsequently entered into administration with a deficit of some £700 million in its employee pension fund. Both men are embroiled in a growing controversy over the company’s demise, with government probes underway and increasing pressure on Sir Philip to reimburse the pension fund from his own cash reserves.
This story first appeared on our sister site, Inside Retail Asia.