Employees at a major retailer’s Mansfield branch face an uncertain future this morning after the company announced it was going into administration.
Staff at the West Gate based British Home Stores (BHS) will be told the news this morning, in a move that threatens 11,000 jobs nationwide.
The BBC have reported that BHS owner, Dominic Chappell, wrote a letter to staff over the weekend.
It said: “It is with a deep heart that I have to report, despite a massive effort from the team, we have been unable to secure a funder or a trade sale.”
Mr Chappell added that he was ‘sincerely sorry’ and told staff they would be paid their wages this month.
Up until the weekend, the owners had hoped to sell the business to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct firm, but they pulled out of the deal at the last minute over BHS’s pension liabilities.
The shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw said it was ‘very concerned’ about the news.
National officer, David Gill, said: “This is devastating news for the employees of BHS and we urge the company to change their attitude to trade unions and begin a dialogue with us at this difficult and worrying time.
“We also urge the administrators and the company to comply with the law, consult with staff and Usdaw as the union for BHS workers. We don’t want to see BHS staff locked out of discussions, sent to the back of the queue of creditors and treated like fixtures and fittings, as happened at Woolworth’s.
“The Government needs to intervene now to protect taxpayers from picking up the bill for redundancy payments and safeguard the Pension Protection Fund.
“We are in touch with our members working in BHS to reassure them that we will provide the support, advice and representation they require.”