- Former CEO Darren Topp tells MPs that Dominic Chappell twice threatened to kill him
- He says he feared for his life after challenging Chappell over missing £1.5m
- Chappell ‘duped’ BHS by funneling £7m from office sales to his private firm
- He bought BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green but retailer collapsed last week
- But today Chappell says BHS could’ve been saved if Sir Philip had helped
- He says Green blocked the sale of BHS to Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley
- Three-times bankrupt Chappell says he deserved the profit he made from BHS because he worked ‘continuously during the last 13 months’
- Ex-finance boss brands Chappell a ‘mythomaniac’ and ‘Premier League liar’
The three-times bankrupt former racing driver who bought BHS for £1 admitted today he made a profit out of the ailing store, but insisted he deserved it because he worked very hard for 13 months.
Dominic Chappell refused to take responsibility for the collapse of the famous department store, which was shut last week and resulted in the loss of up to 11,000 jobs.
Instead he laid the blame squarely at the feet of Sir Philip Green and remarkably painted himself as the saviour of the retailer, boasting how he had managed to keep it going for a year longer.
Delivering a withering attack on the Arcadia boss, he said Sir Philip could have saved BHS but had blocked its sale to Mike Ashley because of a personal grudge against the Sports Direct owner.
But in an extraordinary series of appearances before MPs investigating the demise of BHS, Mr Chappell was accused of threatening to kill his own chief executive in a row over a missing £1.5m.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell (pictured this morning), told MPs that the retailer could have been saved if Sir Philip Green had helped
Former racing driver Dominic Chappell (left) bought BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green (right) in 2015
Former BHS chief executive Darren Topp said he had confronted Mr Chappell over the transfer of £1.5million of BHS cash into Sweden and suffered two death threats from the businessmen as a result.
He told MPs he feared for his life because Mr Chappell was ex-SAS and had a gun.
Mr Chappell allegedly told him: ‘I have had enough of you telling me what to do. It’s my business and I will do what I want. If you kick off about it, I’ll come down there and kill you.’
Mr Topp told MPs probing the collapse of BHS today: ‘I know it sounds silly, he said he was in the SAS and I knew he had a gun so I told him if you threaten me again I’ll go to the police’.
Mr Chappell, appearing after Mr Topp in front of MPs in a special joint meeting of the Commons Business and Pensions Committees, was asked whether it was correct he had made a profit out of BHS after buying it from Sir Philip for £1 last year.
Former BHS chief executive Darren Topp (pictured left) alleged that Dominic Chappell had threatened to kill him after he asked about the whereabouts of £1.5million. Former BHS financial adviser Michael Hitchcock (right) described Mr Chappell as a ‘mythomaniac’ and a ‘Premier League liar and a Sunday pub league retailer’
He replied: ‘Yes it is, I have made a profit out of this but I also worked in the business continuously during the last 13 months.
‘I also racked up considerable fees on the way through and I also personally guaranteed… a grant to the tune of several millions,’ he added.
Mr Chappell, who was allowed to buy BHS despite being declared bankrupt three times, said he was considering legal action against Sir Philip.
He revealed how Mr Ashley was on the brink of buying BHS but was blocked by Sir Philip, who ‘went insane and started screaming and shouting he didn’t want to work with Mike Ashley’.
Earlier this morning Mr Chappell was torn to pieces by BHS’s own management team who described him in the parliamentary hearing as a ‘Premier League liar’ and a ‘mythomaniac’.
During a remarkable session in Parliament today BHS bosses made these claims about owner Dominic Chappell:
- He is a ‘Premier League liar’ but a ‘Sunday pub league retailer’ who had his ‘fingers in the till’ from ‘day one’ after buying BHS for a £1 from Sir Philip Green
- Chappell allegedly siphoned off £7million from the £32million sale of BHS’s London headquarters and sent it to his own company in the form of a loan
- The former racing driver claimed he had an eye operation on the day high street giant went bust – but was actually on his yacht in the Bahamas
- Chappell threatened to kill Topp after the chief executive said he would contact the police over an unexplained £1.5million sent to Sweden
- BHS finance boss says he was forced to change the company’s bank mandate to ‘stop any chance of money flowing outside of the business’.
- Chappell filled BHS’s board with a list of ‘associates and friends’ instead of retail experts
Mr Topp said Mr Chappell’s assurances on buying BHS had ‘unravelled and, rather than putting money in, he had his fingers in the till’.
He accused Mr Chappell of funneling £7million raised from the sale of the store’s offices to his private company, Retail Acquisitions Limited (RAL).
Explaining Mr Chappell’s sale of BHS offices when he first arrived at the business, Mr Topp said: ‘I think this was done on day one of the transaction and what I discovered… was that it got sold…for £32 million and £7 million went to RAL (Retail Acquisitions Limited, Chappell’s company).’
Former BHS financial adviser Michael Hitchcock was even more scathing of Mr Chappell.
Asked about his first meeting with the former BHS owner, Mr Hitchcock told MPs: ‘This was my first interaction with Dominic Chappell and RAL and like I think many others throughout this process, I think I’m duped.
‘I think the technical term is a mythomaniac. The lay person’s term is he was a Premier League liar and a Sunday pub league retailer at best.
BHS SHUTS AFTER 88 YEARS
BHS was forced to close last week after administrators failed to find a buyer
1928: British Home Stores is set up in a store in Brixton, south London. Nothing costs more than a shilling.
1929: Prices rise to a five shilling maximum as home furnishings are introduced.
1970: Expansion since the Second World War means the brand now has 94 UK stores and around 12,000 workers.
2000: Sir Philip Green buys British Home Stores for £200 million. It is rebranded as BHS.
2002: BHS becomes part of the Arcadia retail empire after Sir Philip pays £840 million for the clothing chain which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton.
2005: The shop is beginning to lose pace as it is pitched against cheaper rivals such Primark.
2014: BHS department stores start selling food with the aim for it to be about 10% cheaper on branded goods than the big four supermarkets which are already involved in a price war.
2014: BHS makes a cash loss of £21 million in the year to August 2014, compared with £19.3 million in the year earlier.
2015: Sir Philip sells BHS to Retail Acquisitions, led by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell, for £1. Work begins on a turnaround plan to try to bring it back into profitability.
2016: The store is thrown a lifeline in March when creditors back two company voluntary arrangements (CVA) designed to cut costs and prevent widespread store closures.
2016: BHS collapses into administration in April, sparking an investigation by MPs into Sir Philip and Mr Chappell.
2016: Administrators fail to find a buyer for the firm and decide to wind the company down. Attention now turns to an MPs’ inquiry into its demise.
‘That’s great in hindsight but at the time – because I particularly wanted to meet Darren [Topp] and meet the management team, [who] highly credible turnaround plan that certainly had legs, it needed a lot of things going right but with cash behind the business there’s no reason why the business could not turn itself around.’
However the main attention will remain on the role of Sir Philip, who owned the chain for 15 years, and former bankrupt Mr Chappell, who bought the chain last year through his company Retail Acquisitions.
The pair have been roundly criticised: Sir Philip for paying a £400 million dividend to his family from the business and over his management of the pension scheme, and Mr Chappell for sucking management fees out of BHS before its collapse.
Explaining why Sir Philip was ultimately responsible for BHS’s demise, Mr Chappell said: ‘There were three main issues why this company failed.
‘One was this continuous battering by the pensioner regulator and Philip – their inability to negotiate and deal with us separately to Philip caused us a massive amount of problems.
‘The second part of that – and this is the important part – is when we bought the company the trade, credit and insurance had been pulled already and Sir Philip made an announcement in January that he was either going to sell the company or liquidate it.
‘It was a case of if we didn’t buy it he would have liquidated that company for sure and Philip made a clear undertaking that he would deal with the insurers or cash collaterally back it to make sure we could go forward trading as a company.
‘It caused us a lot of problems, we had to find another £30million very quickly to cover trade credit insurance.’
Mr Chappell finally apologised for his role in the demise of BHS at the end of the session, but MPs had to prise it from him.
‘I am very upset that there are 11,000 people directly and a number of thousand people indirectly who now have lost their jobs,’ he said after more than two hours of questioning.
‘It is a travesty that has happened, I’m very upset that it has happened and it was avoidable,’ he added, taking anothe swipe at Sir Philip.
Asked to confirm whether he was apologising for his role in the demise of BHS, he said: ‘That is an apology.’
‘As a majority shareholder and owner of BHS I must stand forward and say we were part of the downfall of BHS.’
Before the session, Iain Wright MP, chairman of the Business committee, said: ‘In these sessions, we will want to explore how Retail Acquisitions was considered to be a suitable buyer for BHS, an apparently struggling high street store which was saddled with a large pension deficit.
‘We will want to untangle the nature of the advice, both formal and informal, which was provided to Arcadia and RAL as part of the sale process. We will want to probe the role of directors in this sale and to examine whether the existing regulatory regime is fit for purpose.’
Last week MPs were told that Mr Chappell was taking a ‘punt’ on the successful turnaround of BHS when he bought the chain.
A FAILED CAREER AS A RACING DRIVER, A BOTCHED EFFORT TO LAUNCH A MOTORSPORT EVENT, THREE BANKRUPTCIES AND THE DEMISE OF BHS
Dominic Chappell (pictured) was declared bankrupt three times in less than two decades
Despite attending Britain’s best sporting school – Millfield, in Somerset – Dominic Chappell failed to carve out a much-sought after career as a racing driver.
He brags about completing the famous Le Mans 24-hour race in 1995,1996 and 1997, but he only managed two starts in F3000 category races – a couple of rungs up from karting.
After quitting his dream of becoming a Formula 1 star, he turned his attention to organising motorsport events instead.
But that ambition ended in failure – his Interactive Sportscar Championship folded after just one race in 2001.
Chappell, married to wife Rebecca and a father of two young children, didn’t fare any better in the business world.
He was first declared bankrupt at the age of 25 in 1992, according to a notice in The London Gazette, which gave his occupation as a ‘car salesman’.
Fast-forward 13 years and he again found himself declared insolvent over a fee dispute with estate agent Foxtons.
Remarkably, he was made bankrupt a third time over a failed property development in 2009.
But despite the three strikes that should have raised alarm bells when he approached Sir Philip Green to buy BHS in 2014, he was able to take control of the 90-year-old department store.
Armed with little more than bravado, the egregious Mr Chappell, who had no retail experience, no credibility and no money, seized ownership of the 163-store chain.
No one involved in the deal — not the highly paid lawyers, the accountants or Sir Philip himself — seems to have displayed the slightest qualm, or lifted a finger to stop him.
Last week’s closure of BHS and the loss of 11,000 jobs have not prevented him from living as if he were a tycoon, with trappings that include a £200,000 racing yacht and a £1 million speedboat.
Dominic Chappell (pictured left in 1990 and right in 1989) was a keen racing driver after leaving school and completed the famous 24-hour Le Mans race in the 1990s but his career in motorsport was short-lived
He drew a £510,000 salary and hired a helicopter that he claims to have flown himself to conduct visits to the down-at-heel stores.
And it was revealed last month that he was assigned ownership of a £500,000 Spanish hideaway from his family just six months before the store collapsed.
After news that BHS’s administrators had failed to find a buyer, Chappell appeared to lose his temper, sending furious messages to chief executive Darren Topp calling him a ‘f****** prick.’
Despite his failed ventures, the 49-year-old Chappell likes to paint describe himself as a ‘highly experienced entrepreneur’ who claims to have achieved ‘sustained growth’ and ‘longevity’ for companies under his control, as well as being a ‘consummate professional’ known for his ability at ‘motivating staff’.
We know this is how he sees himself because they are written in documents he submitted to the US regulator for his Las Vegas purchase of a ‘shell’ company.
In the same papers, he paints himself as an oil baron with ‘more than 20 years’ experience’ in the industry.
Responding to his outburst against BHS management staff last week, a BHS spokesman perhaps provided the best description of Chappell, branding him a ‘fantasist’.
Chappell, right, poses with fellow racing driver Phil Andrews ahead of testing for Le Mans in 1994
‘It’s my business, I’ll do what I want – I’m going to kill you’: Extraordinary threats BHS owner Dominic Chappell made to CEO
The former racing driver who bought BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green was today accused of twice threatening to kill his own chief executive in a row over a missing £1.5million, MPs were told.
Darren Topp said Dominic Chappell, who has been bankrupt three times but was still allowed to take it over, was ex-SAS and had a gun so feared his life was in danger.
Mr Topp told MPs today that he had confronted Chappell over the transfer of £1.5million of BHS cash into Sweden and suffered two death threats as a result.
Former CEO Darren Topp (pictured right outside Parliament this morning) told MPs that former BHS owner Dominic Chappell (pictured left outside Parliament today) twice threatened to kill him
Chappell allegedly told him: ‘I have had enough of you telling me what to do. It’s my business and I will do what I want. If you kick off about it, I’ll come down there and kill you.’
Mr Topp told MPs probing the collapse of BHS today: ‘I know it sounds silly, he said he was in the SAS and I knew he had a gun so I told him if you threaten me again I’ll go to the police’.
MPs from the Commons Business and Pensions Committees are investigating the events leading to BHS’ demise.
And Chappell was torn to pieces by BHS’ own management team who described him in the parliamentary hearing as a ‘Premier League liar’ and a ‘mythomaniac’.
Mr Topp said said Mr Chappell’s assurances on buying BHS had ‘unravelled and, rather than putting money in, he had his fingers in the till’.
No buyer has been found for BHS who have shut their stores, putting up to 11,000 jobs at risk and with a £571million pensions black hole.
During an extraordinary session in Parliament today BHS’ bosses made these claims about owner Dominic Chappell:
‘I KNOW HE’S GOT A GUN’: THE FULL EXCHANGE THAT LED TO BHS CEO RECEIVING TWO ‘DEATH THREATS’ FROM DOMINIC CHAPPELL
Darren Topp (pictured at the committee this morning) claimed Dominic Chappell had twice threatened to kill him after he challenged the BHS owner over a missing £1.5million payment
Former BHS chief executive Darren Topp recounted the exchange to MPs today that led to him receiving two death threats from owner Dominic Chappell.
After discovering an unexplained £1.5million had been transferred to Sweden, Mr Topp explained:
I rang Dominic and he knew about it straight away and I said to him: That’s theft.
‘Now, if I take out all the expletives he basically said: “Do not kick about this Darren, I’ve had enough of you telling me what to do over the last few months, it’s my business, I can do what I want.
“If you kick off about it I’m going to come down there and kill you.” He threatened to kill me again and I know it sounds silly but apparently he says he was in the helicopter squad of the SAS, I know he’s got a gun, there’s a little bit of me that thought…
And I said to him: “You threaten me again Dominic and I’ll call the police”, which he didn’t.
Now, maybe I shouldn’t have called him a thief but as far as I’m concerned it was theft and what I said to Dominic was: “That money is for the salaries of the people that work in this business, this is for the teams that work in our stores. That’s what the money’s for, not for the directors.”
And he said: “No, you’ve never done an administration Darren, you do not know what it’s like. There’ll be hell to pay and there’ll be costs to pay and I want to make sure I look after my home team.”
Sir Philip Green ‘blocked’ the sale of BHS to Mike Ashley because of a personal grudge against the Sports Direct owner
Sir Philip Green could have saved BHS and the subsequent loss of 11,000 jobs, it was claimed today.
Dominic Chappell, who bought the department store for £1 from Sir Philip last year, told MPs today that Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley was on the brink of buying BHS earlier this year.
But Sir Philip’s personal grudge against Mr Ashley stopped the sale going ahead.
Mr Chappell explained how Sir Philip, who owned BHS for 15 years, ‘went insane and started screaming and shouting he didn’t want to work with Mike Ashley’.
Sir Philip Green (left) blocked the sale of BHS to Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley (right) because of a personal grudge, MPs heard today
It reveals how close BHS was to being saved and comes after Mr Ashley himself admitted yesterday that he had ‘100 per cent’ wanted to buy the business.
He was himself hauled in front of a parliamentary committee yesterday to answer questions about reports of poor working conditions at his Sports Direct business.
He had to defy his PR boss Keith Bishop, who had initially attempted to prevent Mr Ashley from answering questions on BHS when he appeared before the Business select committee.
‘I can’t resist,’ a grinning Mr Ashley said. ‘100 per cent I wanted to buy BHS. It’s a logical fit with Sports Direct because of the extreme value that Sports Direct is known for.
‘I’m not a saint, but you could have made a success of that business.’
But he refused to answer questions on Sir Philip Green’s personal handling of BHS.
The former BHS boss, who MPs described last night as ‘little better than a corporate crook,’ will be grilled at Parliament next week over the demise of the department store.
In another swipe at Sir Philip today, Mr Chappell said it was a ‘travesty’ that he had allowed BHS to fail and said the demise of the store was ‘avoidable’.
MPs attack Sir Philip Green as ‘little better than a corporate crook’ as they demand ex-BHS boss is stripped of knighthood
Furious MPs have described Sir Philip Green as ‘little better than a corporate crook’ as they demanded the former BHS boss is stripped of his knighthood following the store’s demise.
The billionaire and current Arcadia boss has been blamed for the collapse of the department store, which has led to the loss up of around 11,000 jobs.
Last night MPs delivered highly personal attacks on Sir Philip, who they described as an ‘unscrupulous chancer’ and the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’.
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MPs have described Sir Philip Green (pictured) as ‘little better than a corporate crook’ as they demanded the former BHS boss is stripped of his knighthood following the store’s demise
Administrators announced last week that the business will be wound down and all 163 shops closed and sold off after it failed to find a buyer for the bankrupt department store.
It brought to an end an 88-year trading history after intensive efforts to save the business drew a blank.
Around 8,000 permanent jobs are risk, as well as a further 3,000 not directly employed by BHS.
Business minister Anna Soubry said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has intervened in a bid to help staff who are now unemployed after the high street chain was declared bankrupt.
The Insolvency Service has launched an investigation that could result in former BHS bosses facing boardroom bans.
The Pensions Regulator is also investigating the £571 million pensions black hole left by BHS and will publish a report on its findings.
Ms Soubry said ‘any wrondoing will be taken very seriously’.
But it didn’t stop angry MPs tearing into Sir Philip in the Commons last night.
SNP Treasury spokesman Roger Mullin told MPs: ‘If ever there was an unacceptable face of capitalism it comes in the form of Sir Philip Green and his like.
He said BHS employees had paid into their pensions over the course of their lives but ‘because of Green’s failure as a business man and his naked greed, which may have been legal, they are facing both redundancy and great anxiety about their pension’.
Around 8,000 permanent jobs are risk, as well as a further 3,000 not directly employed by BHS following the department’s store’s collapse
He added: ‘Many will be thinking Green is little better than a corporate crook’.
Tory MP David Davis called on Sir Philip to pay into the BHS pension pot to ensure his former employees do not lose out, while his colleague Richard Fuller warned of the ‘collateral damage which is being done to peole’s trust in business across the UK’ as a result of BHS’s collapse.
Shadow business minister Bill Esterson said: ‘While Sir Philip’s former workers contemplate redundancy with significantly reduced terms and a reduced pension, he awaits the delivery of a brand new £100million yacht.’
He described claims about activities at BHS, including alleged dividends of millions of pounds paid to Sir Philip’s family, and the sale of the business for £1 to Retail Acquisitions as ‘beyond belief’.
He asked Ms Soubry: ‘Do you envisage a change in the law so obscene profiteering by the likes of Sir Philip Green and Retail Acquisitions are made illegal?
‘Do you think, as many people do, that Sir Philip Green should be referred to the police for his actions while he owned BHS?’
He added: ‘BHS, as with Comet before, is an example of wealth extraction, not wealth creation, a system that favours a very small number of people rather than the wider economy.
‘The minister and her colleagues need to intervene and investigate in full what happened at BHS and make sure action is taken against the likes of Sir Philip Green, otherwise they will be complicit in allowing a system of exploitation by a few owners at the expense of the many staff and pensioners.’
Making a statement on BHS to the Commons, Ms Soubry said: ‘The Department of Work and Pensions has written to major retailers asking them to consider what opportunities they may be able to offer the workers and local areas affected as the situation becomes clearer this week.
‘DWP will also be monitoring the impact of redundancies locally on a continuing basis and will provide additional targeted support to any areas particularity badly affected.’
She added support will be offered to workers not just as BHS but also to staff of Austin Reed, which also collapsed last week resulting in the loss of approximately 1,000 jobs.
Goldman Sachs exposed by leaked BHS email congratulating bankrupt Dominic Chappell over the purchase of retailer
Goldman Sachs has been left red faced over a gushing email congratulating three times bankrupt Dominic Chappell over the purchase of BHS.
The email is particularly embarrassing for the investment bank because it was working for Sir Philip Green.
It was advising him on the sale of the retail chain to Chappell and had flagged concerns about Chappell’s suitability.
Disgraced: BHS collapsed into administration a year after Chappell, pictured, bought it for a nominal £1
Green pushed ahead with the sale to Chappell regardless and a leaked email from last March shows once the deal had gone through star Goldman banker Anthony Gutman attempted to ingratiate himself with the disgraced businessman.
Gutman wrote: ‘Congratulations on getting the deal done; you deserve it – you were consistent throughout and stuck to your word.’
BHS collapsed into administration a year after Chappell bought it for a nominal £1 through his Retail Acquisitions firm.
Embarassing: Goldman banker Anthony Gutman attempted to ingratiate himself with Chappell once the deal had gone through
MPs from the Work and Pensions and Business, Innovation and Skills select committee are probing the collapse.
Gutman had appeared before the politicians and said he had warned Paul Budge, Green’s finance director, of Chappell’s history of bankruptcy.
Goldman declined to comment.
Chappell is due to appear before MPs on Wednesday along with members of the Dellal family whose Allied Commercial Exporters helped finance the BHS deal.
They lent Chappell £35million. It was this loan that allowed Chappell to show he was a credible buyer of the 164-store retail chain despite having no retail experience.
Questions have also been raised over a £10million payment Green made to Retail Acquisitions four months after it bought BHS.
Reports say the payment was intended to go to BHS to tidy up outstanding payments and MPs are likely to quiz Green on it.
A spokesman for Arcadia said: ‘The £10million was owed to Retail Acqusitions for monies oustanding from the deal. They were paid directly into a BHS bank account at HSBC.’
Last week about 300 head office staff were dismissed and 11,000 store staff could follow during the next two months after a last-minute rescue bid fell apart.
A raft of retailers are interested in snapping up small numbers of stores.
These include Sports Direct, Primark, Ikea, Matalan and B&M.
BHS THE LATEST IN A LONG LINE OF COLLAPSES SINCE THE CREDIT CRUNCH
The financial collapse in 2008 and the surge in on-line shopping have caused carnage on the high street. Here are some of the victims:
MFI (November 2008)
Furniture brand MFI was one of the first major victims of the recession, blaming falling demand for big ticket goods and the downturn in the property market. The company’s 111 stores were closed, with the loss of 1,450 jobs.
Woolworths (January 2009)
The collapse of Woolworths, one the biggest and oldest names in retail, sent shockwaves through the sector. It shut its doors for the final time in January 2009, by which time more than 800 outlets had disappeared from high streets across the country, with the loss of 27,000 jobs.
Zavvi (February 2009)
The music and DVD retailer Zavvi disappeared from the high street a month later. Once the country’s largest independent entertainment retailer, it had 114 stores in the UK and 11 in Ireland employing 2,363 permanent workers and 1,052 temporary staff before its collapse.
Borders (December 2009)
The book chain closed after 12 years with the loss of 1,100 jobs. The group went into administration after internet competition put the business under heavy pressure.
Habitat (June 2011)
Household furnishings store Habitat collapsed into administration. Only three of its 33 stores were saved, and around 750 employees were made redundant.
Peacocks (January 2012)
Budget fashion chain Peacocks collapsed under a debt mountain in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths, placing 7,500 jobs in jeopardy. Some 388 of around 600 stores were saved in a deal with Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group.
La Senza (January 2012)
Lingerie chain La Senza called in the administrators, triggering 1,300 redundancies and the closure of more than 100 outlets. But 60 stores were bought by Arabian retail group Alshaya, saving 1,100 jobs.
Game Group (March 2012)
The video games retailer was hit by falling sales and a refusal by suppliers to stock the business. The group, which traded as Game and Gamestation, appointed PwC at the end of March 2012, triggering the immediate closure of 277 stores in the UK and Ireland – leaving 2,104 staff without a job.
But Game was given a second chance when the brand and remaining 333 shops were bought out of administration by turnaround specialist OpCapita, saving nearly 3,200 jobs.
Clinton Cards (May 2012)
Nearly 3,000 full and part-time staff were left without jobs after administrators announced the closure of 350 stores. But there was some good news for the chain after Ohio-based American Greetings bought 397 stores and saved 4,500 jobs.
Woolworths closed in January 2009
JJB (October 2012)
The failure of the sports retail chain caused around 2,200 staff to lose their jobs after administrators were only able to secure a sale of 20 stores. More than 130 outlets were shut after KPMG failed to find a rescue buyer for the entire business.
Comet (December 2012)
The electrical retailer’s final stores closed just before Christmas, having failed to find a buyer for any of the 235-strong estate. The collapse cost a total of 6,895 jobs.
Jessops (January 2013)
Jessops was the first high-profile retail casualty of 2013 after suffering from online competition and a boom in camera phones in recent years, which hit demand for digital cameras. Administrators closed all shops in the chain with the loss of 1,370 jobs.
HMV (January 2013)
Administrators were called in following dismal Christmas sales for the 92-year-old company, hitting 930 jobs.
But the chain was rescued by restructuring specialist Hilco and bounced back, recently announcing a 2 per cent year-on-year rise in sales of music, DVDs and games, making it the second biggest in the sector with a market share of 16.9 per cent, ahead of Tesco’s on 16.1 per cent.
Blockbuster (January 2013)
DVD and games rental firm Blockbuster collapsed amid competition from internet firms and the digital streaming of movies and games. The firm had a total of 4,190 employees.
Republic (February 2013)
Some 2,500 jobs were put at risk when the fashion retailer went into administration. The business was later bought by Sports Direct.
Phones 4U (September 2014)
Phones 4U collapsed after some mobile networks declined to renew their contracts with the retailer. Vodafone, EE and Currys and PC World later took over parts of the business but hundreds of jobs were lost.
Austin Reed (May 2016)
The shutters are coming down on BHS just two days after administrators for another historic high street name, Austin Reed, announced the closure of 120 stores with the loss of around 1,000 jobs.