Beales administration threatens 1,000 retail jobs

By Becky Bargh 22-Jan-2020

KPMG has been appointed to explore possible sale and refinancing opportunities

Beales administration threatens 1,000 retail jobs

One of the UK’s oldest retailers, Beales, has fallen into administration.

Founded in 1881, the company operates 23 department stores in the UK, from Bedford to Skegness, offering beauty, fashion and homeware.

The announcement puts all of the company’s 1,052 employees at risk.

KPMG has been appointed to explore a possible sale and refinancing opportunities.

According to a statement released by KPMG, Beales hired the firm in December last year to secure a solvent solution, but was unsuccessful.

KPMG joint administrator Will Wright said disappointing festive trading and high rents were the catalyst for the decision.

“For over a hundred years, Beales has been a stalwart of the high street in market towns up and down the UK, but like countless similar retailers, has found trading in recent times to be incredibly tough.

“With the impact of high rents and rates exacerbated by disappointing trading over the Christmas period, and extensive discussion around additional investment proving unsuccessful, there were no other available options but to place the company into administration.”

He continued: “Over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern while we assess options for the business, including dealing with prospective interested parties.”

All 23 stores will continue to trade while the business’ options are assessed.

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The announcement comes weeks after Debenhams reported that it was preparing to close 19 UK stores, affecting 660 jobs.