Business as usual while fate of Bhs is decided

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Uncertainty surrounds the future of the Bhs store in Horsham’s Swan Walk this week following an announcement that the nationwide chain has gone into administration.

However, it is currently business as usual for the Horsham site while its long-term fate is decided.

Bhs, which employs 11,000 people at stores throughout the UK, says there will be no immediate job losses and that all shops will continue ‘to trade normally during administration.’

The uncertainty over the Horsham store’s future is the latest in a string of changes facing Horsham town centre.

Last month, department store Beales announced it was to close its store in The Forum.

Property owner Aviva, which also owns Swan Walk, says that a new retailer will be moving onto the Beales’ site this summer.

Meanwhile, radical plans have been put forward for a new multiplex cinema, new restaurants and a large new shopping unit to be opened in Swan Walk.

A new H&M fashion store is due to open opposite the current Bhs site in Swan Walk on May 19.

However, the future of the Bhs site itself remains uncertain. Councillor Gordon Lindsay, cabinet member for local economy on Horsham District Council, said: “It’s very sad for the 11,000 employees of Bhs.”

Nevertheless, he said: “In general the strength of our retail economy in Horsham is pretty good.”

Bhs, which was first launched in 1928, says that online orders and deliveries remain unaffected during the period of administration.