BHS followed by Austin Reed

Clothing chain Austin Reed - which has a store in Meadowhall - has collapsed into administration putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk, just a day after BHS hit the rocks.

Tuesday, 26th April 2016, 2:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th April 2016, 4:03 pm
25 people work at BHS on The Moor

Administrators have been appointed to run the menswear group, which has 100 stores, 50 concessions and employs 1,184.

It will continue to trade while AlixPartners seeks a rescue deal for all or part of the business.

The move deals another blow to Britain’s high street following the administration of BHS on Monday, which put 11,000 jobs under threat and threatened the closure of 164 stores in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths went under in 2008.

BHS employs 25 at a large store on The Moor in Sheffield city centre which opened in 1953. Workers at shops in Meadowhall, Parkgate Rotherham, Doncaster Frenchgate and Vicar Lane, Chesterfield are also at risk.

BHS is continuing to trade while administrators try to sell it as a going concern.

But the historic name is expected to exit the high street, with retailers such as Sports Direct and Next expected to cherry-pick the best sites and convert them to their own brands.

Analysts said administrators were unlikely to find a single buyer for the chain.

Phil Dorrell, ​p​artner​ at​ Retail Remedy retail consultants​, said​ stores in prime high street locations were likely to be cherry-picked, leaving the rest in doubt.

“​There won’t be a retailer to buy BHS wholesale​,” said Mr Dorrell​.​

“​Expect a piecemeal sale of specific sites in strategic locations to John Lewis possibly or Sports Direct or Next.​

“Sadly, this is probably the beginning of the end for BHS on our ​h​igh ​s​treets. It would take a brave and innovative business to buy the brand and turn it into an ongoing concern.”

Analysts said the chain had suffered from years of under investment and is seen as a store for ‘baby boomers’ - those born between 1946 and 1964 - rather than the under 50s.

A buyer for BHS, which has 14 stores and 1,000 employees in Yorkshire, would face huge hurdles. The retailer has a £571m pension deficit, a £1.3bn debt pile and has lost money for the last seven years

TopShop owner Sir Philip Green sold the firm for £1 in 2015 to Retail Acquisitions, a group of financiers, lawyers and accountants, who failed to raise new capital to reverse the losses.