Published: December 17, 2019 | Updated: December 17, 2019

Long-established store group Beales up for sale as strategic review of business gets underway

Beales’ flagship store in Bournemouth.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Store group Beales is up for sale.

The Bournemouth-based business, founded in 1881, has announced a strategic review and the start of a formal sale process under the Takeover Code.

It says it is assessing a number of strategic and financing options open to the company, including a sale.

Beales has 23 department stores in England, including its flagship Bournemouth shop, and one in Scotland.

Tony Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Beales.

It was acquired by Tony Brown, Chief Executive Officer, in October 2018 after a management buy-out.

In October this year an “exceptionally challenging” retail climate and several one-off costs saw Beales report a £3.172m pre-tax loss for the year to March 31 on a £48.3m turnover.

In a statement, issued on December 17, Beales said it continued to acclimatise to “the ever-changing landscape and challenges of the retail market”.

It added that investment was sought for a sustainable business model for the future to include:

  • Implementation of further central cost saving strategies.
  • Focusing on housewares, small domestic appliances, fashion accessories and shoes. All are showing significant sales improvements following a change in strategy launched earlier this year.
  • Building on the success of its new Fareham store by exploiting further opportunities to acquire retail sites of a similar format.

The statement said that Beales is not currently in discussions with, or in receipt of an approach from, any potential buyer.

Beales employed a total of 1,148 people during its last financial year, a rise of 53 on the previous 12 months.