Weston-super-Mare BHS store to close for good

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 June 2016

(c) Adam Gault

The BHS store in Weston’s town centre is set to close its doors for good after the struggling retail chain was unable to find a buyer.

As a result of this, 11,000 jobs are at risk – with 8,000 sure to be dissolved. This includes all roles at the Weston branch in High Street.

The company first announced its entry into administration back in April of this year but had hoped to continue trading until a buyer was found.

However, due to the working capital of the company the offers received were not significant enough to secure the future of the business.

A statement from BHS said: “Our thoughts today are with the employees. We would also like to thank the great British public for helping us in our efforts to save BHS resulting in several weeks of significant sales.”

The Mercury approached Weston’s store manager but was told staff are unable to comment on the orders of the company.

With the inevitable closure of the store in Weston, a spokesman for North Somerset Council said there is ‘uncertainty’ as to what the future holds for the site.

The spokesman said: “It is always disappointing when retailers leave Weston town centre and our thoughts are with the BHS employees at this time of uncertainty. We currently have no information on when the store will actually close.

“Due to the size of job losses nationally, the Government’s department of Work and Pensions will be working with BHS to set up a support programme to help staff find new jobs.”

BHS’ statement continued: “As a result of the wind-down, all 163 stores will be in close-down sale mode over the coming weeks and while continuing efforts will be made by the administrators to sell stores the jobs of 8,000 members of staff are likely to go.

“A further 3,000 jobs of non-BHS employees who work in the stores may also be at risk.”

Phillip Duffy, managing director of administrators Duff and Phelps, said the closures are a result of change in the way retailers operate.

He said: “The British high street is changing and in these turbulent times for retailers, BHS has fallen as another victim of the seismic shifts.

“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.”

The building’s future remains unclear, but the council will be working to help secure jobs for those made redundant.

The spokesman added: “It is currently not possible to say what will happen to the building as we don’t know what lease arrangements are in place.

“However, all attempts will be made to support the owner to find a new occupier and help generate new jobs in the town centre.”

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