BHS closure confirmed as bank seeks to move into vacant store

BHS is closing its Oxford store

BHS is closing its Oxford store

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A BANK says it is being forced out of the Westgate Centre after unveiling plans to move into the nearby site due to be vacated by BHS.

Lloyds Banking Group has applied for planning permission to turn the BHS store in Queen Street into a Halifax bank.

It comes a day after the Oxford Mail revealed that BHS would be closing in May – putting dozens of jobs at risk.

In its application, Lloyds Banking Group – which has occupied the unit near the entrance of the Westgate Centre since 1972 – said it has been told to leave because of the planned £400m redevelopment of Westgate.

The company’s agent, Haris Kasuji, said: “The Halifax is being forced to relocate from their existing unit at the entrance to the scheme and have no choice but to find alternative representation elsewhere in the city in order to facilitate the redevelopment.”

Yesterday, the Oxford Mail revealed BHS had written to employees at the store on the corner of Queen Street and St Ebbe’s telling them it would be closing in May.

Arcadia, the company which owns BHS, confirmed the news today and said staff could transfer to one of its sister chains such as Dorothy Perkins or TopShop.

Arcadia spokesman Karin Donnelly said: “BHS can confirm the Oxford store is closing on May 10, 2014. BHS endeavours to redeploy staff within the chain and other Arcadia brands where possible.

“Arcadia continually evaluates and reshapes its store portfolio alongside investing in the digital platforms to offer a nationwide service.”

The Westgate Alliance did not comment.

Comments (6)

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8:50am Thu 6 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

Surely we don't want to lose such a massive retail space to a BANK?!
Surely we don't want to lose such a massive retail space to a BANK?! EMBOX2
  • Score: 11

9:00am Thu 6 Mar 14

online_reader says...

Technically it's still retail isn't it? People who work in banks are largely ordinary workers earning an ordinary wage, they aren't all leeches and gamblers.
Technically it's still retail isn't it? People who work in banks are largely ordinary workers earning an ordinary wage, they aren't all leeches and gamblers. online_reader
  • Score: 3

9:02am Thu 6 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

I took a look at the planning portal last night, instead of a PDF of the plans for the building, there is an .exe file that my internet security software took an extreme dislike to...
I took a look at the planning portal last night, instead of a PDF of the plans for the building, there is an .exe file that my internet security software took an extreme dislike to... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -2

9:07am Thu 6 Mar 14

Gunslinger says...

So the first casualty of the Westgate redevelopment then.

Wonder what will happen when Primark are asked to move on?
So the first casualty of the Westgate redevelopment then. Wonder what will happen when Primark are asked to move on? Gunslinger
  • Score: 0

10:10am Thu 6 Mar 14

GRB says...

Maybe Primark should move into the BHS building either permanently or just while the Westgate is redeveloped?
Maybe Primark should move into the BHS building either permanently or just while the Westgate is redeveloped? GRB
  • Score: -2

10:24am Thu 6 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

GRB wrote:
Maybe Primark should move into the BHS building either permanently or just while the Westgate is redeveloped?
That would make sense...

Halifax into the HMV store during rebuild, Primark into BHS...

Anyone else read the letter submitted to the council by Lloyds Banking Group (it's on the planning portal)?

It's a head-in-hands list of errors in Oxford City Council record keeping.
[quote][p][bold]GRB[/bold] wrote: Maybe Primark should move into the BHS building either permanently or just while the Westgate is redeveloped?[/p][/quote]That would make sense... Halifax into the HMV store during rebuild, Primark into BHS... Anyone else read the letter submitted to the council by Lloyds Banking Group (it's on the planning portal)? It's a head-in-hands list of errors in Oxford City Council record keeping. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

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