SHOPPERS have told of their sadness at the news that British Homes Stores has gone into administration.
Stores in Cascades Shopping Centre, Portsmouth, Fareham Shopping Centre and Chichester are at risk of closure with dozens of employees’ jobs being threatened.
I think it was a good store to have in the shopping centreSandra Mellows
Shoppers said the news of losing another giant retailer was sad.
Sandra Mellows, 49, from Stubbington, said: ‘It is sad to hear it could close.
‘It has been here for a long time. I don’t shop there as often as I used to because there are now a broader range of shops to choose from. It was a good store to have in the shopping centre though.
‘If it does close, I hope the unit doesn’t stay empty for long.’
She added: ‘I feel bad for the staff and it seems no retailers are safe from going into administration now.’
Richard Duke, from Portchester, said online shopping has not helped high street stores. ‘There is just too much competition now,’ he said.
‘It is a loss for Fareham because the shop always looked busy.’
BHS went into administration after negotiations to find a buyer of the business were unsuccessful.
Around the country, 11,000 jobs are at risk and along with 164 stores.
Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Sean Woodward, said: ‘My first thoughts are for the dozens of hardworking staff whose jobs are now at risk.
‘I very much hope that the administrators will find a way of continuing to trade and finding a buyer for stores such as the Fareham one which trade very well.’
He added: ‘We are in discussions with Roubaix, the owners of Fareham Shopping Centre.
‘If the store should be permanently closed then we would hope the space would be rapidly let as it is a large ground-floor unit of which Fareham is generally short.’
In a statement, administrators Duff & Phelps said: ‘BHS 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.
‘The directors 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 company’s owner Dominic Chappell said he will continue to work with the administrators to ‘find a solution post the administration’.