Department Stores

Beales slashes 32 head office roles following administration

Embattled department store chain Beales has announced 32 job cuts at its head office in Bournemouth, nearly two weeks after the group entered administration.

KPMG said the joint administrators will be “providing support to those affected over the coming days”.

However, KPMG confirmed that all of the chain’s stores remain open, and will continue to trade while discussions with a number of “interested parties” regarding a going concern sale of the business remain ongoing.

The ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm also said staff across the store network will “continue to be retained to assist the joint administrators with trading”.

Will Wright and Steve Absolom from KPMG Restructuring were appointed as joint administrators to Beale on 21 January 2020.

Founded in Bournemouth in 1881, Beales operates 23 department stores in market towns across the UK selling a range of furniture, fashion, toys and cosmetics. It employs circa 1,052 members of staff.

Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said at the time: “For over a hundred years, Beales has been a stalwart of the high street in market towns up and down the UK, but like countless similar retailers, has found trading in recent times to be incredibly tough.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

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