BHS is to file for administration today after a rescue attempt to save the business failed.
Almost 11,000 jobs across the UK are under threat after talks with Sports Direct to sell some of BHS’ 164 stores collapsed over the weekend.
Parent company Retail Acquisitions was also negotiating a £60m loan from Gordon Brothers, but a source told the Telegraph that the deal failed because of its ‘unfavourable terms’, which included paying millions of pounds in fees upfront.
The news comes despite earlier reports that BHS had been thrown a lifeline when creditors backed plans to turn the business around.
Last month, the loss-making retailer said that 95% of creditors, which include landlords, voted in favour of a company voluntary arrangement to cut the rents of its stores and prevent widespread closures.
And it looked like the business was on the up when BHS announced that it had given its intimate apparel business a major lift, with revamped lingerie departments opening at 15 stores.
But in a letter to staff, BHS owner Dominic Chappell said the company has been unable to secure a funder or a trade sale to save the business.
He added: “I would like to say it has been a real pleasure working with all of you on the BHS project, one I will never forget, you all need to keep your heads held high, you all have done a great job, but remember that it was always going to be very very hard to turn around.”
BHS is expected to make a formal comment on the situation this afternoon.