Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green has said he is not in discussions “with anybody” over a possible sale of BHS – but indicated he would consider an offer “if all the circumstances are right”.
Speaking with Drapers this morning, Green also revealed that he was mulling introducing convenience food to the Bhs offer as early as the New Year, looking to take on the likes of Marks & Spencer with a mix of clothing, homewear and food.
Green said up to 150 of BHS’ 185 stores nationwide would be able to take on a food offer, noting that the company had market tested it already and was in a position to make a decision by Christmas or the start of 2014, although he said it was too early to discuss potential hires. The offer would be a mix of third-party and potentially BHS own-brand.
The retailer has stocked food in the past, but for many years has not gone beyond a limited selection such as the Christmas hampers and biscuits currently available.
He said: “Convenience seems to be the place where everyone is finding growth at the moment and we think we might have a shot at it.”
The retailer has been the object of much speculation in the past month, with South African billionaire Christo Wiese singling out BHS as being of interest to him as a potential acquisition through holding company Pepkor.
Wiese, who is 72 years old, is understood to be keen to return to the UK retail scene having previously owned Poundstretcher and Poundworld.
Since making his interest public, it is thought that other potential bidders have emerged, but Green said he was not in dialogue with anybody about selling”.