Doors stay open as BHS goes into administration

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Staff at Kirkcaldy’s BHS store face an uncertain future after the retailer collapsed into administration today.

The High Street shop will continue to trade while efforts are made to find a buyer. Around 30 expressions of interest have gone to Duff & Phelps, the administrators now running the well-known High Street chain.

In a statement, theys 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.

‘‘Further announcements will be made as appropriate in due course.”

Staff were told of the move into administration in a letter from owner, Dominic Chappell, on Sunday.

News of the company’s collapse emerged as they reported for duty this morning.

Chappell said it was ‘‘with a heavy heart’’ that he announced the move into administration, indicating wages this month would come from the administrators.

He led the conortium that bought BHS from Sir Philip Green for just £1 last year, but struggled to turn around falling sales as shoppers went elsewhere.

BHS has 11,000 employees at stores across the UK.

In Kirkcaldy it has been part of the High street for decades - along with Littlewoods, M&S and Woolworths it was one of the street’s most traditional names.

Woolworths collapsed in 2008 and disappeared from the High Street, while Littlewoods ended a 40-year association when it closed its store in 2006.