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.