PHILIP GREEN, the billionaire owner of Bhs, has begun the break-up of the Etam chain by selling stores to retailer Monsoon and the Scottish businessman behind the Office shoes business.
Mr Green, who acquired the loss-making 200-store Etam chain two weeks ago, will also convert a handful of the sites to his Top Shop brand.
The moves cover 82 shops with the rest of the estate still under review.
Monsoon will convert 47 of the sites to its Monsoon and Accessorize brands and bolster its trading space by 30 per cent.
The acquisition is expected to secure around 980 jobs - many of which are part-time - as Monsoon intends to retain Etam staff.
The second deal involves the sale of 20 stores to West Coast Capital, the private equity business run by Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter and owner of the shoe brands Office and Kube and menswear chain USC. It plans to rebrand the Etam shops and take on existing staff.
Mr Green said a further 15 stores were to be converted to Top Shop and provide the chain with a total of 316 sites.
He is also expected to put Etam’s Tammy Girl brand into his Bhs stores and convert other stores to his Arcadia portfolio, which includes Dorothy Perkins.