Beales enters administration
The 139 year old Beales department store chain has appointed KPMG's Will Wright as administrator following its failure to find a buyer. The business had been struggling with high rents and rates together with a fall in sales. In the short term, the stores will continue to trade on but the Beales website has already been closed. KPMG will continue to seek a buyer for all or parts of the business which had been in negotiation prior to Christmas with landlords to agree rent cuts. The Beales stores are primarily located in provincial towns and smaller cities, with some potentially proving to be attractive to Sir Philip Day. With some 1300 employees facing potential redundancy it is hoped that there will be a positive outcome.
"With the impact of high rents and rates exacerbated by disappointing trading over the Christmas period, and extensive discussions around additional investment providing 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," said Will Wright of KPMG.