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On 20 January 2020, KPMG was appointed as the administrator for Beales Department store. The process comes as no other solution for a sale or refinancing provided the business with a rescue option, threatening around 1,300 jobs.
Beales plc was listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) before it was taken private in 2015 by Andrew Perloff , a property investor known in the media as a high-profile UKIP donor. The department store has 23 outlets throughout the UK, with a flagship store in Bournemouth. Although the company is still trading, Beales’ website has gone offline.
Once a national success, Beales, which was established in 1883, reported losses of £3.1 million last year, up from £1.3 million in 2018 owing to high rents and competition from online retailers. Having been unable to secure a cut in rent or a buyer for its business, the company may become yet another victim of the downtrend in the retail sector, which performed particularly badly in 2019 (see also: Slashed prices and increased online sales leave retailers out in the cold).
The high street has seen a number of British household names struggle over the past two years, including House of Fraser (which was acquired by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International), Debenhams (which Mike Ashley attempted but failed to acquire), Bonmarche (which was acquired by Spectre Holdings Limited in July 2019), BHS Home Stores, Maplin Electronics and Mothercare.
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