BHS was almost 90 years old when it went into administration a year ago today, but all that remains of its legacy now is a string of empty shops and an online store.
When retail tycoon Sir Philip Green sold the chain for just £1 to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell in 2015, he set off a chain of events which have since been scrutinised by MPs and The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
BHS collapsed just over a year after the acquisition, putting about 11,000 jobs at risk and a creaking under a pension shortfall of over £500m.
MPs on the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee launched an inquiry probing the sale and acquisition of BHS in April last year but by June administrators concluded that no buyer could be found.
One MP called Green the “unacceptable face of capitalism” for his part in the collapse of BHS.
The failure of BHS led to calls for Green to be stripped of his knighthood.
The House of Commons’ Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field said over the weekend that Green “remains on the hook” and could still be at risk of losing his knighthood over the debacle.
Green paid £363m in an unprecedented settlement with the Pensions Regulator earlier this year, plugging a hole last estimated to be £571m.
Meanwhile, Dominic Chappell is due in court this week as the Insolvency Service alleges he has not cooperated with their investigation. The former owner is also facing demands from TPR that he contribute to the BHS pension fund.
Elsewhere, former BHS head office workers were awarded a payout of £1m earlier this month after an employment tribunal ruled their redundancy had been mishandled. As for the shops, only about a third of former BHS sites have reportedly found new occupiers, with Primark snapping up the most.
With these issues looming, the BHS saga appears not to be over just yet.
January 2015: Sir Philip Green confirms that he is thinking of selling the company after sustained losses.
12 March 2015: BHS is sold to Dominic Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions for £1.
September 2015: New CEO Darren Topp unveils ambitious turnaround plans
March 2016: As the company seeks a company voluntary arrangement, the pension deficit of £207m is revealed.
25 April 2016: It is announced that the chain has entered administration
28 April 2016: MPs on the business, innovation and skills committee launch an inquiry into the sale of BHS.
June 2016: Various rescue bids, including reported interest from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, end in disappointment as no buyer is found. The international arm of the business is sold to Qatari retail group Al Mana.
July 2016: Administrators Duff and Phelps shut down more than 50 stores in two weeks, with the rest due to close in August after selling off remaining stock.
Goldman Sachs is blamed for lending credibility to the Retail Acquisitions sale.
28 ugust 2016: Final BHS stores close.
20 October 2016: MPs pass a motion to recommend stripping Green of his knighthood, the first time the House of Commons has ever made such a proposal.
2 November 2016: Chappell is arrested for failing to pay £500,000 tax on BHS profits to HMRC
February 2017: Green agrees to help plug the BHS pension scheme shortfall with a cash settlement of £363m.