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Department store chain Beales collapses into administration

PUBLISHED: 12:13 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 20 January 2020

Beales Department Store in Diss, which has collapsed into administration. Picture: Anthony Carroll

Beales Department Store in Diss, which has collapsed into administration. Picture: Anthony Carroll

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Department store chain Beales has collapsed into administration - putting the jobs of more than 1,000 people at risk.

Palmers in Great Yarmouth is also at risk as it is run by Beales. Picture: Liz CoatesPalmers in Great Yarmouth is also at risk as it is run by Beales. Picture: Liz Coates

Beales runs a number of shops across Norfolk and Suffolk, including Diss and Beccles.

It also has two sites in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, having bought out the Palmers chain in 2018.

The Beales website is no longer online.

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KPMG have been appointed as administrators of the chain, and said that no stores will be closed immediately and there will be no instant job losses.

However, the longer-term future of more than 1,000 staff whose jobs are on the line is unknown.

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: "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. During this period gift vouchers, customer deposits and customer returns/refunds will continue to be honoured."

"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."

KPMG were initially engaged by the business in December 2019 to explore possible sale and refinancing options.

The firm added: "Despite interest from a number of parties, this process did not secure any solvent solutions for the Company, and as a result, the directors took the difficult decision to place the companies into administration."

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