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Who is behind Retail Acquisitions?

Retail Acquisitions has today taken control of the troubled BHS department store chain from Sir Philip Green. Drapers looks at who the key people are behind the company.

It is understood that the company was incorporated in November 2014 and changed its name from Swiss Rock Ventures earlier this month. People associated with the company are understood to be director Stephen Charles Bourne, director Dominic Chappell, solicitor Mark Tasker, solicitor Edward Parladorio and company director Lennart David Henningson.

Stephen Bourne is a partner at financial services firm Hub Capital Partners and was head of corporate finance at BDO Stoy Hayward from 1998 to 2009.

Dominic Chappell was chief executive and director at Swiss Rock from February 2014 to January 2015, and has held the position of non-executive chairman of Olivia Investments based in Gibraltar since March 2003.

Mark Tasker has been a partner and head of the corporate and commercial department at law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite since July 2010 and was previously a partner at Fox Williams for 14 years.

Edward Parladorio was previously a partner at London-based litigation firm PSB Law.

The background of Keith Smith, who is described as chairman of Retail Acquisitions, and Swedish Lennart David Henningson are not yet known.

Simon Horner, head of fashion at Kantar Worldpanel said: “BHS has struggled in the face of increasing competition in recent years, particularly from lower-priced fashion retailers. It has lost almost 800,000 shoppers in the past five years and has been overtaken by John Lewis, TK Maxx and Sainsbury’s in the ranking of Britain’s largest fashion outlets.   

“BHS has not sufficiently capitalised on the growth of online retail and consequently only 9% of its fashion sales come from this channel versus 20% for the total market. 

“BHS is still performing well among its traditional customers, those aged 55 and over.  Over half of its sales come from this older demographic which accounts for nearly a third of all fashion spending in Britain. However, this age group is choosing to follow younger fashion trends so BHS will need to refocus its offer to continue to appeal to these shoppers.”

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