Published: 14:00, 22 July 2016 |
Updated: 15:03, 22 July 2016
Last month, administrators announced they had failed to find a buyer for the ailing retail chain, and would be closing all 163 stores. Other Kent sites to close include Gravesend, Hempstead Valley, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, with the loss of more than 11,000 jobs altogether nationwide.
When the company went into administration in April, administrator Duff and Phelps said multiple offers were received but none were able to complete a deal that met the capital needs of the business, which has a pension deficit of more than £570 million.
Joint administrator Philip Duffy said: “The British high street is changing and in these turbulent times 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.”
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) said it was “deeply saddened” BHS stores were now starting to close.
Dave Gill, national officer of Usdaw, which has more than 440,000 members, said: “We are saddened to hear the administrators for BHS have announced they are closing 20 stores, which will impact around 600 staff.
“We hope that other retailers, including Sir Phillip Green’s Arcadia group, will offer employment to these experienced, dedicated and loyal staff who suddenly find themselves unemployed.
“We believe there is hope for the remaining stores with the administrators continuing to seek buyers, and we are still waiting to hear the details of Sir Phillip’s offer to ‘sort’ the pension scheme.”
Mr Gill added: “In the meantime we are providing the support, advice and representation our members require at this difficult time.”
A further 30 BHS stores across the country are due to close on July 30.
What do you think of the closure of BHS? Are you one of the Ashford BHS employees losing your job? If so please email us at email@example.com or call our newsroom on 01233 623232.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
We have four editions of our Kent Homes, Gardens and Interiors magazine for you to read. Click here to view them all.