How UK high street stalwart BHS became embroiled in battle for survival

How UK high street stalwart BHS became embroiled in battle for survival

BHS is one of the UK's most recognised high street brands but it has struggled against value fashion rivals and online shopping.

By 2016 the BHS Group was performing on average 1,000,000 transactions a week across 164 stores and 74 franchise stores across 18 countries - but it is struggling to be profitable.

:: 1928 British Home Stores is set up in a store in Brixton, south London. Nothing costs more than a shilling.

:: 1929 Prices rise to a five shilling maximum as home furnishings are introduced.

:: 1970 Expansion since the Second World War means the brand now has 94 UK stores and around 12,000 workers.

:: 2000 Sir Philip Green buys British Home Stores for £200 million. It is rebranded as BHS.

:: 2002 BHS becomes part of Arcadia when Sir Philip pays £840 million for the clothing chain which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton.

:: 2005 The shop is beginning to lose pace as it is pitched against cheaper rivals such Primark.

:: 2014 BHS department stores start selling food with the aim is for it to be about 10% cheaper on branded goods than the big four supermarkets who are already involved in a price war.

BHS, which has 171 stores, made a cash loss of £21 million in the year to August 2014, compared with £19.3 million in the year earlier, the Financial Times reports.

:: 2015 Soon after the retailer was bought by Retail Acquisitions Limited RAL for £1 in March 2015 work began on a turnaround plan to try and bring it back into profitability. BHS employs 11,000 people and has a pension deficit of about £100 million, the FT reports.

:: 2016 The store is thrown a lifeline in March when creditors back two company voluntary arrangements (CVA) designed to cut costs and prevent widespread store closures.

Weeks later BHS issues a statement saying it "would like to advise that despite some press speculation it is not in, nor has applied to go into administration" but within days fears deepen that it may go into administration by April 25, threatening 11,000 jobs.

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