Staff in all remaining BHS stores to be told of redundancies

BHS British Homes Stores, Norwich store on St Stephens Street. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

BHS British Homes Stores, Norwich store on St Stephens Street. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Thousands of BHS staff are to be told that they face redundancy consultation as administrator Duff & Phelps gears up to close the chain's 114 remaining stores over the coming weeks.

More than 11,000 employees are set to lose their jobs after the department store chain collapsed into administration in April.

Duff & Phelps closed down 20 stores on Saturday, affecting 580 staff, and will shut a further 30 shops on July 30, affecting another 700 employees. BHS had 164 stores prior to its collapse.

Staff across the remaining 114 stores will be formally notified later on Monday that their jobs are going into redundancy consultation, with all stores to be closed by August 20.

Duff & Phelps has failed to find a buyer for the business as a going concern and will now look to sell the stores off piecemeal.

The news comes on the day that a damning report into BHS's ownership under retail billionaire Sir Philip Green was released.

The tycoon was branded the 'unacceptable face of capitalism' as a parliamentary inquiry found he systematically extracted huge sums from the collapsed store group while leaving its pension fund in deficit.

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Sir Philip and his family pocketed £400 million in dividends during his 15-year ownership of the company, with BHS's pension scheme nursing a £571 million deficit when it fell into administration.

In a hard-hitting joint report, two Commons select committees accused the entrepreneur of seeking to blame anyone but himself for the firm's failure and said he has a 'moral duty' to make a 'large financial contribution' to the 20,000 pensioners facing substantial cuts to their benefits.

While the committees were damning about Dominic Chappell, who bought BHS for £1 from the billionaire last year, and the 'directors, advisers and hangers-on' associated with the deal, they said ultimate responsibility lay with Sir Philip.