With 11,000 jobs in the balance what are the options facing BHS?


British Home Stores is a familiar face on the high street known for its affordable clothes and homeware. But the retailer is struggling to make a profit and is rumoured to be ready to file for administration.

What are BHS's options?

A buy-out

BHS store
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Talks are continuing with Sports Direct, with discussions centring on a plan for the budget activewear chain to buy some of BHS's 164 stores. But it is understood the company would only buy the shops if it did not have to take on its £571 million pension deficit, according to the BBC. Sources close to the negotiations told the Financial Times that a deal going through was highly unlikely.

Rescue Package

BHS store
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Retail Acquisitions bought the company in 2015 for £1 from Topshop owner Sir Philip Green. The new owner planned to deliver £160 million of funding but has not been able to find the money, the BBC said. The chain had success when a reduction of rents was negotiated with landlords across the country and the owners also tried to find more funds through property sales, including their Oxford Street lease, but even this did not make as much money as had been hoped. A last-minute loan could help the ailing firm.

What will happen if it goes into administration?

BHS store
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Administration would put around 11,000 - 8,000 employees and another 3,000 contractors - at risk.

The restructuring firm Duff and Phelps has been rumoured as administrator for BHS should neither of the rescue options materialise. It will likely try and find a buyer for BHS as a going concern.

What will happen to the firm's problematic pension deficit?

A quiet Trafford Centre in Manchester
(Pat Hurst/PA)

The creditor rights to the fund were passed onto the government-backed Pension Protection Fund (PPF), an organisation that safeguards pension scheme members if their employer becomes insolvent, in March. Administration would probably mean the pension scheme is bailed out by the PPF.

When will staff get more information?

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

If the retailer does go into administration, staff will be told about the collapse at a meeting at 11am on Monday, according to The Guardian. A statement posted on the BHS website on Friday insisted that the company is not in administration nor has it applied to be and that the website is operating "as usual".