Troubled high street retailer British Home Stores is cutting
operating costs by bringing its PR operation in-house.
The company, which was part of the Storehouse retail group until May,
was bought by corporate raider and business-turnaround specialist Philip
Green has built a career on buying retail chains at the bottom of the
market then cutting costs and improving management before selling them
again. He paid more than pounds 200 million for Bhs, which shareholders
complained at an emergency general meeting last May undervalued the
The two-strong PR team at Bhs, led by PR manager Karin Silverstein, has
now doubled in size, with further hirings in the offing. Kim Blake PR,
the consumer agency which handles Bhs’ product work, is to stop work for
the chain later this month. It has been Bhs’ main agency for three
Brunswick, which handled financial PR for Storehouse has continued to
work for the renamed Mothercare plc.
Bhs’ new status as a limited company means it has no obligation to make
public its trading figures as listed firms do. Finance director Paul
Coackley is currently overseeing corporate PR, with assistance from
Silverstein’s consumer team.
Bhs’ profit to April 2000 was just pounds 13 million, compared with over
pounds 85 million the previous year.