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Beales to close more than half of its 23 stores

Lauretta Roberts
07 February 2020

Beales, the stricken department store chain, is to close 12 of its 23 outlets including its flagship store in its home town of Bournemouth.

The business was placed into administration last month after a search for a buyer failed and today administrator KPMG said the business would cease trading in Bournemouth, where it was founded in 1881, and 11 other locations.

KPMG said it was still in active discussions with potential buyers but non had come forward to buy the entire chain. The closures will affect around 500 of the group's 1,200 staff.

In a statement KPMG said: ”The joint administrators of the Beales department store chain have confirmed that they remain in active discussions with interested parties regarding a going concern sale of a number of stores.

“Unfortunately, however, no offers have been received in respect of selling all 23 stores as a going concern. As a result, the joint administrators are now in the process of developing plans with store directors and management teams to implement the closure of 12 stores.”

The full list of planned closures are:

  • Bournemouth
  • Hexham
  • Worthing
  • Tonbridge
  • Peterborough
  • Mansfield
  • Keighley
  • Perth
  • Spalding
  • Wisbech
  • Bedford
  • Yeovil

It is anticipated most of the stores will remain trading for around eight weeks as clearance sales take place.


The original Beales store in Bournemouth

Bournemouth town centre is also home to Debenhams and a branch of House of Fraser, previously known as Dingles. Its town centre branch of Marks & Spencer has already been closed.

The current Beales store sits on the same site as the original store from 1881, which was bombed during the Second World War. The business was founded by John Elmes Beale and was originally knows as Fancy Fair and Oriental House, selling designs from and inspired by China and Japan, as well as Liberty fabrics.

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