Up to 11,000 workers will lose their jobs after efforts to find a buyer failed.
The decision followed a lengthy bidding process aimed at saving the retailer, which went into administration in April. In the end, none of the offers was judged acceptable by administrators Duff & Phelps.
Hopes of rescuing the store chain had rested on a late offer from a company led by retailer Greg Tufnell and reportedly backed by Portuguese money. However, sources said that in the end, the financial backing for the bid failed to materialise.
Other bidders who failed to convince the administrators included a consortium led by Matalan founder John Hargreaves, as well as separate offers from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley and Poundstretcher boss Aziz Tayub.
The jobs of 8,000 employees are likely to go, while a further 3,000 jobs of non-BHS employees who work in the stores may be at risk. Hilco Retail Services has been appointed to assist in the process of winding down the store network.
“Despite the considerable efforts of the administrators and BHS senior management, it has not been possible to agree a sale of the business,” said the administrators. “Although multiple offers were received, none were able to complete a deal due to the working capital required to secure the future of the company. Our thoughts today are with the employees. We thank them for their professionalism and hard work. We would also like to thank the great British public for helping us in our efforts to save BHS resulting in several weeks of significant sales.”