Business as usual for Abbeycentre BHS store

BHS has entered administration. Pic by Press Eye.
BHS has entered administration. Pic by Press Eye.

The British Home Stores branch in Abbeycentre is set to continue trading as normal following news that the company entered administration on Monday (April 25).

Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, Managing Directors at Duff & Phelps have been appointed Joint Administrators of BHS (The Group).

A spokesperson for Duff & Phelps said: “The Group has been undergoing restructuring and, as has been widely reported, the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business. These negotiations have been unsuccessful.

“In addition property sales have not materialised as expected in both number and value. Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the Group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments.

“The Directors therefore have no alternative but to put the group into administration to protect it for all creditors. The Group will continue to trade as usual whilst the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern.”

The UK-wide chain has four stores in Northern Ireland, including the branch in Newtownabbey.

It is understood that around 300 people are currently employed across the four local stores.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has described BHS going into administration as “a sad day for the high street.”

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “This is a sad day for the retail sector and the high street as a whole. The potential closure of the four local BHS stores will not just have an impact on their staff, but also result in less footfall for surrounding retailers.

“Change is the only constant in retail and it does seem that BHS did not keep up with the marketplace and the expectations of 21st century consumers.

“Our thoughts are with the staff and their families at this difficult time.”