Portsmouth’s BHS store could close as company tries to stem spiralling losses

Cascades Shopping Centre', which houses Portsmouth's BHS branch
Cascades Shopping Centre', which houses Portsmouth's BHS branch
Picture: Steve Deeks

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THE Portsmouth branch of BHS could close as the company enters voluntary insolvency.

A quarter of the 165 stores across the country are at risk unless landlords agree to reduce the rent in a bid to stem the firm’s losses.

The Cascades store has a 10-month reprieve while a cut of 25 per cent is negotiated, otherwise it is likely to close.

BHS in Fareham will not be affected.

KPMG has been called in to supervise the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) of the 90-year-old firm, which was sold by Sir Philip Green to Retail Acquisition for £1 last year.

Will Wright, from KPMG, said in recent years BHS has seen its profitability decline as it has sought to respond to changing customer behaviours, increased competition and the rise in omni-channel retailing. He added: ‘Today’s CVA proposals are one facet of a wider turnaround plan, and specifically tackle one of the business’ largest fixed costs, the onerous lease arrangements across its UK-wide store portfolio.’