Stuck in the Middle: Business Failure At BHS | tutor2u Business
In the News

Stuck in the Middle: Business Failure At BHS

The fallout from the collapse of retailer BHS will be significant, particularly for the 11,000 employees involved.

With unsustainably high levels of debt, it was perhaps inevitable that BHS would fail eventually.

However, the root causes of BHS lie not so much in the financial structure of the company as its strategic positioning.

To borrow the classic analogy coined by Porter's model of generic strategies, quite simply BHS was "stuck in the middle". It competed neither on price, nor differentiation.

Using Bowman's Strategic Clock, BHS was firmly stuck in position 8: Loss of Market Share.

Customers of BHS could either get lower prices elsewhere, or better perceived value from the alternative department store brands.

The analyst quoted in this FT article sums the strategic weakness of BHS well:

"It is a firm that is out of step with modern consumer tastes, which lacks the finances to enact the major changes required".

Subscribe to email updates from the tutor2u Business

Join 1000s of fellow Business teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Business team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

You can also follow @tutor2uBusiness on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or join our popular Facebook Groups.

Job board

Teacher of Economics Key Stage 5

Pimlico Academy, London


Teaching Vacancies


Advertise your vacancies with tutor2u

Much cheaper & more effective than TES or the Guardian. Reach the audience you really want to apply for your teaching vacancy by posting directly to our website and related social media audiences.

Find our more ›

Advertise your teaching jobs with tutor2u

A New Home for tutor2u Resources

We've just flicked the switch on moving all our digital resources to instant digital download - via our new subject stores.

For every subject you can now access each digital resource as soon as it is ordered. This will always be the latest edition of each resource too (and we'll update you automatically if there is an upgraded version to use).

Simply add the required resources to your cart, checkout using the usual options and your resources will be available to access immediately via your mytutor2u account.