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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 07​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ March, 2016​​​​​​

BHS announces CVA and radical property restructure

The owners of BHS, which filed a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) last week, are planning a radical overhaul of the department store group that is expected to trigger significant store closures, the restructuring of its massive pension scheme and further job losses. Commenting on the BHS property restructure, Damian Sumner, Head of Retail Agency at JLL, said: "The BHS situation has been rumbling on for a while. It has created a lot of uncertainty in the market and the change of ownership last year further complicated the picture.  Efforts have been made to broaden BHS's offering through food and selling of electrical goods, but the size and configuration of some of the stores has made it difficult for BHS to effect change through sub-letting to other operators without landlord assistance. The CVA process will at least give some clarity on the future structure of the business and will allow decisions to start to be made."

In other news, Greggs posted a 25.4% rise in annual pre-tax profit excluding one-off items to £73m; sales were up 5.2% at £835.7m. Greggs' success can be put down to adapting well to demand, and evolving its product around health and quality, elevating its reputation beyond basic pasties and sandwiches. Greggs has also revealed plans to close three of its 12 bakeries in the UK, as it moves away from being a traditional, decentralised bakery, to create new "centres of excellence." The move is part of a broader £100m plan for expansion, however, and the company has a new focus on non-high street sites, in particular hospitals, industrial estates and office parks.​​​

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