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BHS to be wound up after hunt for buyer fails

BHS is one of the best known names on the UK high street.
File photo dated 27/4/2016 of a BHS store on Oxford Street in London, as the owner has said he is working with private US investors to put together a rescue package for the collapsed retailer. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday April 28, 2016. Dominic Chappell said he would look to save a "substantial majority" of the department store chain's 164 shops and continue the business under the BHS brand. See PA story CITY BHS. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

High street stalwart BHS is to be wound up with the loss of up to 11,000 retail jobs after a desperate search for a new owner ended in failure.

The firm – one of the best known names in the history of British retail – collapsed into administration in April.

Administrators Duff and Phelps had hoped to secure a buyer for the business but that process ended in failure and the department store chain will now be wound up.

The company directly employs 8,000 staff and a further 3,000 work in ancillary roles in concessions in their 163 stores.

The company has two major outlets in Dundee and Kirkcaldy, which will both now close. The timescale for the shutting of the doors has not been made clear but there will be a closing down sale process.

Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, managing directors of Duff & Phelps, said their thoughts were with the employees who now faced a bleak future.

They said the staff had shown great professionalism in recent weeks as the future of the company hung in the balance.

The pair also paid tribute to the¬†“great British public for helping us in our efforts to save BHS resulting in several weeks of significant sales.”

However, ultimately the heavily indebted business could not be saved.

Mr Duffy said: “The British high street is changing and in these turbulent times for retailers, BHS has fallen as another victim of the seismic shifts we are seeing.

“The tireless work and goodwill of the existing management team and employees of BHS with the support of my team were not enough to change the fortunes of the company.”