The BHS Enquiries
This week was Sir Philip Green’s turn to face the BHS firing squad. With bullets flying from every direction, he seemed to hold his own.
He did not appear to me as a man walking to the execution chamber.
He arrived with guns blazing prepared to shoot down anyone who stood in his way.
I suppose he reckoned if the judge had not granted him a reprieve, it was no use facing the hangman on his knees.
Those politicians had already made up their minds that he was guilty, he might as well tell them where to go and stick it.
What Lessons Can Retailers Learn From It?
In the heat of the financial crisis when ghost towns were appearing all around the UK as one independent retailer after the other went belly up, the government set up the Mary Portas Commission.
Millions of taxpayers pounds later, the commission came up with some b** s** findings that failed to address the root cause of the problem.
Like the Mary Portas Commission the BHS enquiries will conclude with some political mumbo-jumbo that is not going to feed the kids of the eleven thousand people who lost their jobs.
Why Do I Believe The BHS Enquiries Would Fail?
To get at the right answers, you first need to ask the right questions.
Those politicians are all thinking about re-election therefore are only putting up public spectacle to make themselves popular.
How can they uncover the truth about cause of BHS collapse when they themselves know nothing about the retail business?
If they knew retail, they will be asking a completely different set of questions.
There is no way the current level of questioning will lead them to the root cause of BHS collapse.
Would you like to know the real reason behind the collapse of BHS?
What lesson can other retailers learn from BHS collapse to ensure they do not end up in the plot next to BHS in the retail grave yard?
Click on any of the below links for the answers:
1928: BHS is founded in Brixton, South London, by American entrepreneurs to create a British low-priced version of Woolworths. Everything was sold for under one shilling.
1929: Prices rose to five shillings when home furnishings was introduced.
1933: BHS enters the London Stock Exchange
1970: BHS operates 94 stores across the UK employing around 12,000 workers.
1977: BHS joins Sainsbury’s to create a chain of 13 hypermarkets called Savacentre.
1982: BHS commences remodelling project to bring it in line with Marks & Spencer.
1985: BHS begins franchising its brand around the world.
1986: BHS merges with Habitat and Mothercare in a bid to attract younger audience with trendier fashions.
1989: Sainsbury’s buys out BHS’s 50pc share and the brand recedes from the high street.
2000: Retail mogul Sir Philip Green buys BHS from Storehouse Plc for £200m.
2002: BHS becomes part of the Arcadia empire controlled by Sir Philip.
2005: BHS downward slide began as it loses ground to cheaper rivals like Primark.
2015: Sir Philip sells BHS for £1 to Retail Acquisitions, writing off £215m of debts in the process.
2016: BHS calls in the administrator after it fails to find a buyer and negotiate rent reduction and pension liabilities.
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About the author
Romeo Richards is an experienced retail trainer and consultant with knowledge of retail marketing, store performance and retail loss prevention.
He has the ability to choreograph the customer journey, boost store conversion and enhance in-store experience using store design and visual merchandising.
Specialises in increasing retail profit through shrinkage reduction.
He is the author of 23 retail and marketing books including:
• How to Increase Retail Sales
• How to Make Profit In Retail
• Store Design Blueprint
• Visual Merchandising Display
He is the creator of five retail home study courses.
Frequently presents webinars on shoplifting prevention and boosting retail sales.
Featured in Professional Security Magazine, Retail Week & Retail Technology Magazine