Sir Philip Green is understood to be merging his Bhs and Arcadia empires in an attempt to streamline the businesses and cut costs.
Senior staff at both Arcadia and Bhs were told yesterday that Bhs will be subsumed into Arcadia and will be operated as if it was one of the Arcadia group’s brands, which include Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Miss Selfridge.
Bhs and Arcadia had previously been run as two separate businesses. The merger is likely to lead to some job losses, with Green expected to combine Bhs’ central functions such as logistics, marketing and finance with Arcadia’s.
Some of the Arcadia Group’s larger stores could be redesigned to become a “house of brands” containing numerous fascias under one roof.
It is believed that a trial of this concept, where Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Burton are bring sold within a Bhs store in Peterborough could be the blueprint for the changes. In towns where a “house of brands” is opened, smaller branches would close. Having just one large store in major market towns would be more cost-effective than having numerous small stores.