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Rival retailers circle BHS stores

A number of retailers including Primark and Sports Direct are thought to be eyeing some of BHS’s more attractive stores, less than 24 hours after administrators confirmed their intention to wind down the business.

BHS

Primark, which has 161 stores in the UK, has room to grow and often targets larger stores, such as those in BHS’s portfolio, according to Dan Simms, head of retail agency at property advisory firm Colliers.

Speaking to the Financial Times, he said Next, H&M, Sports Direct and discounters such as Wilko, Poundland and TK Maxx were also likely contenders. Next took the former 50,000 sq ft BHS unit in Basingstoke earlier this year.

Attention will focus on the minority of stores in busy locations, such as Brighton and Hastings on the south coast, Simms said. It is thought many BHS stores will be subdivided between more than one retailer.

Marks & Spencer is not expected to take any of the stores, at it is undergoing a review of its existing portfolio.

It has also emerged that private equity firm Better Capital’s owner Jon Moulton considered buying BHS, but decided it would have been “too hard” to revive.

He told City AM: “BHS failed because of poor execution combined with a lack of adequate cash to buy goods.”

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