With the news of the demise of BHS - a store we have all heard of and which is part of the British high street - however, how many of us can say we have shopped in the store in the last year or even 5 years?
Undoubtedly there has been a lack of investment across the stores for a number of years, but is this another British institution that has been left to rack and ruin by its owners, or a company that hasn’t moved with the times and was no longer relevant to UK shoppers?
Don’t get me wrong. The lack of support for the members of staff, the disregard for their pensions and the neglect of ‘Duty of Care’ (from not only Mr Green but also from Mr Chappell at Retail Acquisitions) seems to me to be almost criminal. And I suspect that the ‘rigorous’ grilling from our MP's over the past and next few days will eventually tell us that it is all perfectly legal and ‘just business’. However it all just seems a little bit grubby to me.
The UK retail market is one of the most analysed in the world – with the eternal question being “What does the shopper want?” and I can’t help thinking that BHS would have sadly gone the way of Woolworths eventually. They didn’t seem to have the answer to the above question for a generation of shoppers, but it may have at least stood half a chance if the greedy Mr Green had shown a little more conscience.
Sir Philip Green is scheduled to appear before MPs on Wednesday for one of the most eagerly anticipated parliamentary hearings since they were first televised in 2002. The billionaire is under mounting pressure to explain his role in the demise of BHS, with MPs from all the major parties calling for Green to be stripped of his knighthood.