Yesterday (Monday, July 25) saw BHS administrators announce the nationwide company has been set a date for all its stores to close. This now leaves eleven thousand BHS staff on the search for new employment.
Many stores have already closed down but yesterday it was finally announced that all shops inclusive of Brighton, Churchill Square are to be shut by August 20 as no investor or new buyer has been found.
National officer for USDAW (union for shop workers), Dave Gill condemned the news as ‘the final hammer blow to BHS staff, who have been worried about their future for over a year since the company was sold for £1 and more recently put in the hands of the administrators’.
He said: “Following the news that all remaining BHS stores will be closed by August 20, Usdaw calls on the administrators to redouble their efforts in finding a buyer for the remaining stores and to secure as many jobs as possible.
“We also call on Sir Philip Green to honour the two promises he made to BHS staff as soon as possible after the company went into administration. Firstly, to offer employment within the Arcadia Group to the blameless, dedicated and loyal staff who suddenly find themselves unemployed. Secondly, to ‘sort’ the pension scheme and we await details of what he proposes.
“The 11,000 hard working and loyal staff will today be feeling very angry and totally let down following the publication today of the Parliamentary Select Committee Report into the running of BHS. It is clear that the rapid demise of the company is down to a handful of people who have been more interested in indulging in a game of corporate monopoly for their own personal gain.
“There are still some very serious questions that need to be answered, by former owners of the business, about how a company with decades of history and experience in retail has now come to this very sorry end.
“We also urge other high street retailers to look seriously at quickly re-employing the dedicated and experienced BHS workers who will all soon be unemployed.
“In the meantime we are providing the support, advice and representation our members require at this difficult time.”
Many appear to have been let down by the apparent mismanagement of the high street firm with many experienced personnel on the BHS board appearing to have neglected their obligation to run the company effectively. Sir Phillip Green has also been asked to report his account of proceedings to the Houses of Parliament.