Arcadia Group sold BHS to Retail Acquisitions in a deal described by one analyst as a "sensible strategic" move

Arcadia Group sold BHS to Retail Acquisitions in a deal described by one analyst as a "sensible strategic" move

Troubled department store chain BHS said it is "looking at options" for its property portfolio that may result in store closures, following its sale last week to Retail Acquisitions.

Arcadia Group sold BHS to Retail Acquisitions in a deal described by one analyst as a "sensible strategic" move. The chain operates 171 stores in the UK, of which 14 are dedicated Home Stores. The chain also has 88 international franchise stores in key territories such as Malaysia, Russia and the UAE.

The future of around 50 stores were reported to be being weighed up by Retail Acquisitions, and one analyst warned that restructuring was likely and, over the medium term, further store closures might be necessary.

In response, however, a spokesperson for BHS said it had appointed property consultants and that it was "looking at options for the portfolio and its structure".

The spokesperson added: "This does not mean any leases that may be under review will be sold, and certainly does not mean that store closure is the only option. Options could also include sub-letting under-utilised space or renegotiating payment terms. In addition, BHS management is exploring opening new stores in the right locations.

"BHS management has been clear, prior to the sale of the business, that certain loss-making stores might be sold at the right price, and in keeping with this, the stores in Canterbury, Cardiff, Aylesbury, Bath and Thannit have been closed over the last 18 months. Prior to Retail Acquisitions' purchase of BHS, the decision had been made to close the Oxford and Foss Park stores – which will happen in the coming months."

Last year, BHS saw its losses widen to GBP21m (US$31.5m) for the year to 30 August, compared to GBP19.3m in the same period of the prior year, resulting in a double-digit profit slump for Arcadia.