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

Sad day as 139 years of retail comes to an end with Beales closing its doors for the final time

Beales’ flagship store in Bournemouth which closes on Thursday, March 19.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Nearly 140 years of retailing in Bournemouth came to an end yesterday, Thursday, when Beales closed its doors for the final time.

All remaining 21 sites in the department store chain – including Bournemouth and Poole – have now ceased trading.

The Joint Administrators of the department store chain, Will Wright and Steve Absolom from KPMG, confirmed the news on March 18.

In a statement they said the closure – two weeks ahead of the administrators’ original schedule – was because the impact of coronavirus on the retail environment had meant that trading could no longer be supported.

The statement added: “Staff will continue to work until close of business on March 21 to help box-up residual stock and assist with various other closure issues.

“Regrettably, the majority of employees will then be made redundant, with all salaries paid up to and including the date of their redundancy.”

Will Wright, Partner at KPMG and Joint Administrator, said: “Whilst it is regrettable that we have had to take this decision, especially given the fantastic support that the staff have provided to the business and the administrators since our appointment, the impact of these unprecedented circumstances has left us with no alternative option.

“We will be working with employees to ensure they have all the necessary information to submit claims to the Redundancy Payments Service, together with details of who to contact for any help and support they may require.”

Two of the 23 Beales stores have already closed – Hexham and Great Yarmouth.

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

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

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