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BHS owner blames Sir Philip Green for collapse as buyers circle stores

The boss of BHS’s owner, Retail Acquisitions, Dominic Chappell, has blamed Sir Philip Green for the department store chain’s collapse, as news emerged that Edinburgh Woollen Mill is eyeing the retailer’s stores.

On Monday BHS appointed Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, managing directors of Duff & Phelps, as joint administrators after attempts to find a buyer for the ailing retailer failed.

Chappell, who was paid a salary of £540,000 and owns 90% of Retail Acquisitions, told the Financial Times the business had failed because of the previous management and owner Arcadia.

He told the newspaper: “It’s not right, the way it’s gone. It was in Arcadia’s gift that this business was carried forth.”

Chappell blamed Green for not being able to finalise a £60m loan from finance group Gordon Brothers, according to the report, however BHS chief executive Darren Topp and finance director Aidan Treacy said the loan would not be enough to cover the group’s financial needs.

Meanwhile, Philip Day, the boss of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Peacocks chains, is understood to be the frontrunner to snap up a portfolio of BHS stores.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Day may even keep the BHS name going.

Retail Acquisitions bought BHS from Green for £1 in March 2015. The business operates 164 stores and employs around 8,500 staff.

Arcadia has yet to respond to Drapers’ requests for comment.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Dominic Chappell is an amateur and is more responsible for the collapse of BHS than Philip Green.
    Chappell will also profit personally despite being responsible for 11,000 job losses.
    Main critisism of Green is selling BHS to a previously twice bankrupt amateur with no retail experience, and not forgetting the huge dividends he took out of the business.

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  • How weak and pathetic of Dominic Chappell to pass blame. Earlier this weak he said no one was to blame! Funny that ... Suddenly the investigation committees are circling and now others are to blame. Both Phillip Green and Dominic Chappell need to stand up as real business men and take full responsibility for what has happened. We will see what happens and true colours will shine through.

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  • Philip Green mis-managed this business for years and years and has made a fortune from it. Yes, of course Dominic Chapell and his team must share some of the responsibility for the collapse of BHS, but the lions share of the buck stops with PG

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  • Why did he buy it then? Green knew it was in trouble but he didn't force Chappell to buy it. Ridiculous.

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  • darren hoggett

    Quite why Chappell bought BHS involves a lot of head scratching as the chain had nothing to offer in many peoples eyes. Green was in it for himself, but as correctly pointed out, didn't force Chappell to buy it.

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  • and now he's trying to buy it back again, is Chapelle (as he likes his name pronounced) totally crazy??

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  • Rightly or wrongly, Sir Philip Green clearly knows his stuff as far as being a retail businessman is concerned. You don't amass a wealth of that volume, successfully maintain and further grow it by not knowing what you're doing. Dominic Chapell, on the other hand is something else... How did, this three-time bankrupt, with no real cash behind Retail Acquisitions Limited, or even retail experience within it's management team, think it would be a successful venture if they took BHS on in any way, shape or form?! The mind absolutely boggles. 100 percent dodgy would be my opinion; make a fast buck via any means, just grab the cash; in and out and to hell with anyone else it might affect.

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