BHS parent Retail Acquisitions appoints property consultants to "review" store portfolio

Catherine Neilan
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BHS: Properties could be offloaded, but Retail Acquisitions said that was not only option (Source: Arcadia)
etail Acquisitions has appointed property consultants to review BHS' 171-strong store portfolio, as the new owner gets to grips with its loss-making business.

BHS had already taken the decision to shut its Oxford and Foss Park stores ahead of Sir Philip Green's sale of the business, and these will close their doors “in the coming months”, while in the past 18 months stores in Canterbury, Cardiff, Aylesbury, Bath and Thanet have been shut.
Retail Acquisitions, which is headed by former racing driver Dominic Chappell and ex-broker Keith Smith, is now “looking at options for the property portfolio and its structure”, the company said in a statement.
“Property consultants have been appointed, but this does not mean that any leases that may be under review will be sold, and certainly does not mean that store closure is the only option,” the company spokesman said. “Options could also include sub-letting under-utilised space or renegotiating payment terms.”
The spokesman added that BHS was considering “opening new stores in the right locations”.
BHS has been haemorrhaging cash for many years. Last year it posted a loss of £70m.
Green has attempted a number of new strategies, including a rebrand, boosting its fashion credentials and the introduction of a food arm, in the hope of turning the business around.
Following being sold off last week – reportedly for £1 – Retail Acquisitions has made chief operating officer Darren Topps interim chief executive.
Richard Price, who had been in the role for two and a half years, had resigned prior to the deal going through and is moving to Tesco's clothing label F&F.

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