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BHS relaunches in the UK as a new online retailer

BHS is set to relaunch in the UK as an online retailer with a range of lighting and home furnishing products that constituted around 75 per cent of the most popular online items sold before it went into administration earlier this year.  

BHS.com will open for business in the UK on Thursday 29th September 2016, and over the coming weeks will add new ranges to its offering including kitchen and dining ware, and clothing items.  

The new retailer will have a smaller range of products than it did before, but a greater focus on items that are “best-sellers”’.   

It has also developed a new online platform which it believes will be one of the most customer-friendly in the market.  Unlike the old BHS platform, customers will be able to order and checkout with just two clicks. They will also be able to log on to the website with one device such as their mobile phone, and continue their shopping experience on another such as a laptop or tablet.  

The new BHS, which will be headquartered in London, has 84 employees – the vast majority of who worked for the retailer before it went into administration. 

David Anderson will be overseeing the launch of the new UK online business, with a view to recruiting an executive at a later date to run this operation. 

David Anderson, managing director, BHS International, said: “We are thrilled to be relaunching this iconic brand back into the UK.  It had a loyal customer base with around 1.2 million British shoppers who bought from us online, and for our relaunch we have managed to secure many of the products they liked the most. 

“In addition to this, we have developed a new specially designed online platform for our UK business so we are not inheriting any legacy systems, and we were able to recruit the majority of people who worked on the profitable online and international operations of BHS before it went into administration. 

“So although we are starting again in the UK, we have a number of advantages over a typical start-up.  We are nimble and efficient, but with a great brand, strong customer base and a proven and dedicated team.”  

Lighting and home furnishing used to make up over 50 per cent of BHS’s online revenue.  Some of the former best-selling products that have been secured for the relaunch include items from BHS’s former bedroom, bathroom, cushion and lighting ranges. 

In June 2016, BHS International (UK) Limited, which was formed by The Al Mana Group, acquired BHS.com, the International franchise business, and the BHS brand. 

The Al Mana Group operates in a number of sectors including retail, automotive, real estate, media and technology. It represents a range of high profile brands including: Zara, Mango, Armani Exchange, United Colors of Benetton and Reebok.  

At the time of BHS going into administration, its international and online businesses were profitable and growing, and many of the key people running these have been retained by The Al Mana Group. 

They include David Anderson, who remains managing director of BHS International; Sara Bradley, buying director; and Dave West, head of creative.

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