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Department store Beales collapses into administration

Department store Beales collapses into administration
Business
But KPMG said: "Despite interest from a number of parties, this process did not secure any solvent solutions for the company, and as a result, the directors took the difficult decision to place the companies into administration."

In the year to March 2019, Beale Ltd reported a loss of £3.1m, up from £1.3m for the year earlier as costs swelled and sales dipped.

KPMG s Will Wright, who is the joint administrator to Beales, said: "With the impact of high rents and rates exacerbated by disappointing trading over the Christmas period, and extensive discussions around additional investment proving unsuccessful, there were no other available options but to place the company into administration.

"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." He said added that during this period gift vouchers, customer deposits and customer returns/refunds will continue to be honoured.

Independent retail analyst Richard Hyman said it was "no surprise" that Beales had collapsed. "It has been fighting for survival for quite some time, as have many other department stores," he said.

Mr Hyman said department stores were "very expensive to run" and faced "overwhelming" competition from other stores, particularly online rivals, predicting there would be "far fewer of them" in future.

"It is getting much, much harder to operate a department store profitably," he said. Beales chief executive Tony Brown led a management buyout of the firm in 2018.
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