Published: February 18, 2020 | Updated: February 19, 2020

More jobs axed as joint administrators confirm preparations begin to close all 23 Beales stores

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

All 23 Beales stores – including Poole – are now set to be closed while a further 20 job losses have been announced at the Bournemouth head office.

Will Wright and Steve Absolom of KPMG, joint administrators of the department store chain, confirmed the shock news late yesterday afternoon.

In a statement the joint administrators said that while discussions were continuing with a number of interested parties they were “with regret” commencing preparations for the closure of the remaining 11 Beales’ stores, including Poole.

They had already announced the axing of the flagship Bournemouth store, along with 11 other outlets.

The latest job losses at the Bournemouth head office come on top of 32 redundancies at the beginning of this month.

Just 24 jobs – out of an original 76 – will remain at head office.

The full statement reads:

The joint administrators of the Beales department store chain, Will Wright and Steve Absolom from KPMG, confirm that they continue discussions with a number of interested parties for a sale of the business as a going concern.

However, with no deliverable offers received for the business to date, it is with regret that the administrators announce that they are commencing preparations for the closure of the remaining 11 stores and associated stock liquidation. In addition, a further 20 members of staff have been made redundant from the Beales head office in Bournemouth.

In line with the closures announced previously, it is anticipated that stores will trade for a period of approximately eight weeks while the closing down sales are conducted.

Employees across the stores will be retained to assist with trading over the weeks ahead, and the joint administrators and their teams will continue to work closely with staff during this period.

If a sale is not achieved, the precise closure date for each store will vary, depending on trading performance and other factors encountered during the closure process. The joint administrators are therefore unable to confirm exact closure dates until later in the process.  

Will Wright, joint administrator, said: “We’d like to thank all Beales employees for their wholehearted support and assistance during the administration process. We understand that the failure to achieve a sale so far will come as disappointing news, but can assure them that we will continue in our efforts to secure some form of positive outcome.”

The 139-year-old retail group went into administration on January 20.

The store chain employs around 1,050 members of staff.

Beales was acquired by Tony Brown, Chief Executive Officer, in October 2018 in a management buyout.