Blackpool staff in limbo as BHS slips into administration

British Home Stores , Corporation Street, Blackpool
British Home Stores , Corporation Street, Blackpool
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Workers at Blackpool’s BHS store are facing uncertainty after the company fell into administration.

Bosses at the national chain, which owes £1.3bn, said they had no choice after a restructuring of the company failed to find buyers – leaving its 11,000 staff at 164 stores in limbo.

The shop workers union USDAW, currently holding its conference in Blackpool, where there are around 40 staff, has criticised bosses for not keeping its staff informed. Dave Williams, regional representative, said: “This is a very worrying time for the staff. The company does not recognise the union but we do have many members at the Blackpool and Preston stores.

“We are asking the company to get us involved so we can help the staff. By law the company should enter into a 45 day consultation with the staff.

“Sadly that did not happen when Woolworths failed. The staff had to go to court to get the money they were owed. The situation is very worrying, the company does not seem to involve the staff in what is going on.”

In a statement, administrators Duff and Phelps said: “The group (BHS) has been undergoing restructuring and the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business. These negotiations have been unsuccessful.

“In addition property sales have not materialised as expected in both number and value. The group will continue to trade as usual while the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern.”