BHS chief executive Darren Topp called the situation “hideous” as he told workers administrators failed to find a buyer for the high street chain at its head office on London’s Marylebone Road today.
“Although everyone tried really hard, we couldn’t secure the working capital required to keep going due to the fact we have been left in such a weakened state by Retail Acquisitions,” he said.
He said he was deeply sorry and thanked everyone for their “amazing professionalism in difficult times”.
“We were left too weak to survive,” he added.
Drapers understands that Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct contacted administrators at the final hour with a low bid, which was declined.
Administrators Duff & Phelps, which were appointed on April 26, today confirmed the “orderly wind down” of the business as although multiple bids were received, none were able to provide the working capital required to ensure the future of the business.
All 163 stores will now be in close-down Sale mode over the coming weeks and the jobs of 8,000 people are likely to be cut, as well as an additional 3,000 contract workers who are not directly employed by BHS.