Department Stores

Beales to vote on administration

Embattled department store chain Beales is on the brink of administration, with reports suggesting it will hold a meeting on whether to appoint KPMG as administrators later today (20 January).

According to Sky News, the decision to appoint administrators will be held while the company still searches for a buyer.

The move, if confirmed, will put around 1300 jobs at risk. However, it is believed that a “slim-downed” version of the chain could emerge after the administration. Beales currently operates 22 stores across the UK, including Bedford, Mansfield, Southport, Perth and Yeovil.

The department store, which opened its first site in 1881, appointed KPMG to conduct a strategic review of the business, which included putting its Bournemouth-based site up for sale. It is believed that the business has drawn interest from possible buyers.

In October 2018, the retailer completed a management buyout, led by CEO Tony Brown. Sky reported that Brown has been working “tirelessly” to save the chain and has been seeking rent reductions across its portfolio.

Beales was unavailable for comment.

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