London: BHS, the owner of department stores across Britain, has called in outside help to rescue the struggling firm from potential closure and the loss of some 11,000 jobs, administrators said Monday.
The 88-year-old chain has failed to keep pace with rivals selling clothing and homeware in shops and online, resulting in a significant loss of market share.
"The group will continue to trade as usual whilst the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern," administrators Duff & Phelps said in a statement, in reference to the company`s 164 branches.
BHS has been undergoing restructuring and has been unsuccessful in negotiations to find a buyer for the business, while property sales have not materialised as expected, Duff & Phelps added.
"Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments," the administrators said.
"The directors therefore have no alternative but to put the group into administration to protect it for all creditors."
Owner Dominic Chappell, whose consortium Retail Acquisitions purchased BHS last year from retail entrepreneur Philip Green for just one pound ($1.4, 1.3 euros), said he would work with administrators to "find a solution".