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The Truth About BHS

BHS was one of the biggest names on the high street, but it is now in administration and faces an uncertain future. What exactly happened, and who is responsible for its decline?

BHS was one of the biggest names on the high street, but it is now in administration and faces an uncertain future. What exactly happened, and who is responsible for its decline?

Much of the focus has been on Sir Philip Green who sold the firm a little over a year ago to a little-known group called Retail Acquisitions. BHS had undergone a period of high growth during the first part of Green's 15 years of ownership, but its subsequent decline was accelerated by the economic crisis of 2008, and in recent years it racked up huge losses.

Many accuse Sir Philip Green of trying to offload the company to duck its growing pension liabilities - one MP even called him the "unacceptable face of capitalism" - but there have also been suggestions that he's being unfairly tried in the court of public opinion.

Green and the owners of Retail Acquisitions will face questions in front of a parliamentary select committee next month. Meanwhile the administrators are entertaining offers for BHS assets. Hanging in the balance are the company's 11,000 employees and more than 20,000 members of the company pension scheme.

David Aaronovitch asks what happened to the retailer, and who's responsible for its decline?

Producer/Reporter: Michael Wendling
Researcher: Alex Burton

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28 minutes

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