Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Vm_101 Blog post.

BHS Southend-on-Sea, (Store 057)

On the 3rd of August 2016. the Southend British Home Stores closed its doors for the final time after serving the Southend residents and surround areas for over 47 years. (Since 1969)
The day after the staff went in to dismantle, pack Clean and empty the 21,640 sq ft store. (Thats just the 2 sales floors thats not including walk ways, the restaurant, stock room and staff areas).
See the  photos that friends, now former staff posted on face book of the empty sales floors was a little sad. Its easy to forget how big the place is.

An empty first floor now closed too the public (Photos form Alison B)

Before closure 

Tammy 2008

The Ground floor after the staff have finished their final shift. (Photos from Carol B)

The Ground floor (photos From Lucy Johnson)

Before closure

Christmas 2007

Then days after, A-boreds with messages and mannequins apeared at the from of the shop. it had appeared that squatters had moved in.

Their reason was to rase awareness of lack of housing in the area. In a video posted on the BBC Facebook page apparently the "doors were left open", and them riding around the sales floor on bikes. As well as posting a legal warning in the shop window

On August 22nd they were evicted from the building after a two and a half week stay. I did find videos on Youtube posted by the gentlemen whom were squatting in the building, of them camed out in the old staff area, and playing 'blowing' with an office chair and a mannequin (which was no older then year and a half).

Other Articles:
SouthendStandard - British Home sweet home? Squatters occupy empty BHS shop just days after department store closes down in Southend.
BBC News UK - Southend BHS squatters 'highlight the lack of housing'

Evening Echo (Basildon, Canvey and Southend)Squatters evicted from former BHS store after three week stay.

The first 20 stores closed in July of this year, with the last to close at the end of August putting 11,000 people in need of a job.
A Facebook page was set up by staff to promote the idea that BHS might be saved, but then became a place of encouragement and positivity as the first stores for closure were announced.

All stores began the process of selling fixtures, mannequins  office desks, It was like see HMV store closures all over again. Some sold them in store and others like Surrey Quays advertised on Web Sights (

(source of the below four photos from

Below: Cake Stand fixtuers used manly at Christmas and on the home departments (manly for the non re-fit stores, those with a low grade made do with what they had)  
Below: In the centre is one of the non re-fit store gondola. On either side home and fashion Accessorise fixtures, metal frame that fits glass shelfs.

Below:  Centre, home and fashion Accessorise fixtures. On the right you see Lingerie fixtures and right Fashion hanging rails.

With the final stores just waiting to close, the web sight paused and a planed new sight waiting to be launched in the Autumn. Its now the waiting game for companies future, weather it will become an internet only store. and on the economy (and the buys to improver the products) and weather it will be able to stay up with the times.

If any one has pictures of BHS store photos before and after the store has closed and want to shear, please feel free to add them in the comments, or you can shear them on my Facebook page or in my Facebook group

Links to Images of BHS Southend and Lakeside flag ship store:

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