One of the two Lincoln BHS stores has closed today and shoppers’ dreams of a John Lewis taking its place have been crushed.
The BHS store in St Marks will close its doors for the final time on Wednesday, August 3, with the High Street store closing on August 6. They will join 163 stores across the country, all of which will cease trading by August 20.
Many locals sympathise with the staff. One BHS shopper told The Lincolnite: “The people I feel sorry for are the staff. They’re still being pleasant in there, it must not be very good for them.”
BHS filed for administration in April 2016 and Sir Philip Green, former owner of BHS, has been under fire since the company’s collapse.
Despite locals feeling sad about the loss of the High Street chain, many are hoping that the hole in the High Street will be replaced by another department store such as John Lewis.
With the city already being home to big names on the High Street such as Next, Primark, House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer, locals said they felt that a John Lewis would make a perfect fit for what will become another empty store.
John Lewis has no stores in Lincolnshire. The nearest ones are either Peterborough or Nottingham.
However, John Lewis told The Lincolnite today: “John Lewis has no current plans to open a shop in Lincoln.”
Lincoln man Paul said that his wife was a regular in BHS and he hopes another department store will take its place. He said: “I think that it’s shocking that a big store like BHS has to close through the situation that it finds itself in with Philip Green.
“My wife shops here quite often. I don’t know if, towards the end, it could have been saved. I think there are elements of this that have been handled really badly.”
Paul continued: “It would be good to see another form of department store take its place. Another big name would be good. Certainly, the shops are a bit too big for a charity shop and I wouldn’t want to see charity shops taking over.
“We’re not badly treated but I think when you take one away there will be a gap. I’m not sure we needed two BHS here anyway.”