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Department store Beales enters administration

One of Britain’s oldest department stores Beales has entered administration, putting 1,300 jobs at risk. KPMG was named as administrator yesterday morning following a board meeting.

Last week the retailer – which has 23 stores across the UK – filed a notice of intent to appoint an administrator, while also holding a number of unsuccessful talks with the aim of finding a buyer.

There have been no closures yet, with all stores expected to remain open during the administration process. The store’s website is currently offline, however.

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “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.”

He continued: “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.”

In the financial year ending March 2019, Beales’ losses had almost doubled to £3.1m. The company’s slump into administration comes after it was revealed that 2019 was the worst on record for British retail.

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