Shoppers grab bargains as Hastings BHS closes

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120500001
Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120500001

Shoppers made the most of the closing day sales as BHS in Hastings shut its doors for the last time on Saturday (August 20).

The retail giant was offering up to 80 per cent off across the store before closing one of the flagship shops in Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120355001

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120355001

BHS has now ceased trading after administrators failed to find a buyer for the doomed chain, which entered administration in April.

Town centre manager Rob Woods said most staff had been helped to find new jobs but admitted it was a ‘sad day’ for the town.

“It’s obviously a sad day but we we’re aware it was coming and generally the town has done as much as it can to try to find out jobs for the staff,” he said.

“Most of the staff have got jobs elsewhere but it’s now down to a new retailer to fill that space and I’ll be very pleased to hear when we know that’s going to happen.”

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120447001

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120447001

The 88-year-old department store’s collapse affected 11,000 jobs, 22,000 pensions, sparked a parliamentary inquiry and left its high-profile former owners potentially facing a criminal investigation.

Administrators Duff & Phelps and FRP Advisory have already overseen 128 closures, including BHS’s flagship Oxford Street store.

BHS was one of the founding members of Priory Meadow when it opened in 1997 and was one of the ‘major’ stores along with Marks and Spencer.

Mr Woods said he was encouraged by the fact that the Hastings store was one of the last to close.

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120435001

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120435001

“In a way the Hastings BHS stayed open longer than a lot of other towns as ours was one of the last ones to close which has been slightly encouraging,” he said.

“But I just hope New River Retail [Priory Meadow’s owners] are able to fill it pretty soon.”

Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green has borne the brunt of the public fallout, having been branded the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ by MPs.

Sir Philip owned BHS for 15 years before selling it to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015.

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120409001

Shoppers bagging a bargain in the last day sales at BHS in Hastings. Photo by Michael Parmley SUS-160822-120409001

The Arcadia owner, which also runs Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, came under fire for taking more than £400m in dividends from the chain, leaving it with a £571m pension deficit.

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