BHS.com goes live today (Thursday September 29) with a range of lighting, bedroom and bathroom products for a UK customer base, to be joined by housewares and clothing next month.
The online shop is being launched by the brand’s new owner, the Qatar-based Al Mana Group. In June 2016, the Al Mana Group created BHS International (UK) Limited, which 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.
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 in April. Its call centre will be based in Glasgow and run by Ascenos.
BHS International managing director 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. He said: “We are thrilled to be relaunching this iconic brand back into the UK.”
The new retailer will offer a smaller range of products than it did before, but with a greater focus on items that are ‘best-sellers’. Its range of lighting and home furnishing products constituted around 75% of the most popular online items sold before BHS went into administration.The products are sourced from 23 suppliers, all of whom are in the UK.
In addition to rolling out its kitchen, dining and clothing ranges next month, the company said it is firmly on track to be ready for Black Friday and Christmas.
As part of this, it has implemented a new IT platform to support the company’s operations including ecommerce, back office and logistics systems which are fully tested, secure and scalable.
David believes the new online platform 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.
He said: “A huge amount of work has gone into rebuilding and launching BHS back into the UK as an online retailer. With a loyal British customer base of well over one million people and the fact that we have secured contracts with so many leading suppliers – who are providing products that were among the most popular with our shoppers – we are in the best possible position for launch.”