Arcadia’s out-of-town multi-fascia concept Outfit is set to open its first high street store in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the former BHS unit next month, just over a year since the troubled department store chain collapsed into administration.
The Northumberland Street site will offer Topman, Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burton, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins all under one roof and marks the format’s first foray onto the high street.
The store will be Outfit’s 78th in the UK. It plans to open further stores in Barnsley and Edge Lane in Liverpool in September and October, respectively.
As it currently stands, only around a third of BHS’s 164 stores have been taken on by new tenants, 12 months since the retailer plunged into administration on 25 April 2016.
Two of the most notable new entrants are Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) Group, which is preparing to launch a new department store concept in the former BHS unit in Carmarthen, South Wales, and Polish retailer Reserved, which is readying its UK debut in part of the former BHS flagship on London’s Oxford Street in autumn this year.
Primark has snapped up the most stores so far with deals on nine stores, although two in Carlisle and Leicester Fosse Park were agreed before BHS fell into administration and one in Kingston is temporary. The Primark stores are in Colchester, Harrow, Llandudno, Sheffield Meadowhall (split with Sports Direct), Staines and Reading.
Sports Direct has also taken six stores for its various fascias including the eponymous sportswear chain, USC and Flannels in Middlesbrough, Sheffield Meadowhall (split with Primark), Southampton, Sunderland, Watford and Jersey, while Next has picked up four stores in Basingstoke, Burton-on-Trent, Leeds White Rose and Metrocentre.
Morley’s department store chain opened in the former BHS unit in Bexleyheath earlier this month. Zara is set to open in the former store in Brighton and H&M has agreed deals on the Birmingham New Street store and York, with the latter split with Mountain Warehouse. New Look has agreed to take part of the former store at Trinity Leeds.
Earlier this month, a group of former BHS head office workers secured a £1m payout over the way in which they were made redundant when the retailer collapsed.
A London employment tribunal awarded 110 employees at the BHS head office up to 90 days’ wages after law firm JWK successfully argued that the company did not conduct a proper consultation process with them ahead of their dismissal.