Belfast Telegraph

Sir Philip to offer 1,000 BHS staff jobs at his retail empire

By Ravender Sembhy and Alan Jones

Sir Philip Green is to offer 1,000 BHS workers jobs at his Arcadia group, a week after being grilled by MPs over the department store chain's collapse. The workers are currently employed at Arcadia concessions, such as Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, within BHS outlet

There are four BHS stores in greater Belfast, employing about 200 people.

A spokesman for the company said it did not know if employees in Northern Ireland would be included in the offer.

He added: "This relates to the Arcadia concession staff working within BHS, so at present it's not clear who else it may include."

It is understood the Topshop billionaire has also instructed his lieutenants to assist some of the 10,000 remaining BHS workers find new jobs.

During a parliamentary hearing last week, Sir Philip apologised to the staff of the collapsed retailer and admitted that he sold the business to the "wrong guy", adding that he will "sort" the firm's pension scheme, which has a £571m black hole.

Sir Philip has come in for criticism for taking around £400m in dividends out of BHS during his 15-year ownership and for selling the firm to former bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015.

On Tuesday, MPs from the Business and Pension Select Committees wrote to his wife, Lady Tina Green, to demand answers over the "complex web" of businesses owned by the family in the wake of the BHS administration scandal.

The 163-store chain is in the process of being wound down by administrator Duff & Phelps.

Its Northern Ireland stores are located in Belfast's Castle Place, Holywood Exchange in the east of the city, the Abbey Centre in Newtownabbey and in Lisburn's Bow Street Mall.

Eamonn Murphy of Murphy Surveyors said the concentration of stores in the Belfast area was likely to mean at least one would be selected for closure.

But he added that the large property at Castle Place in the city centre could be sold on for redevelopment.

Belfast Telegraph