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Beales acquires Robbs of Hexham

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Indie department store group Beales has acquired Robbs of Hexham from MCR, the administrator for beleaguered indie department store group Vergo Retail, for £250,000.

Beales chief executive Tony Brown told Drapers this morning that he planned to return the iconic department store to profitability over time.

He said Beales will return the store to its heritage and added: “It will take 12 months to get it back to where it should be. It will be a difficult road to return it to profitability but we will get there”

Brown said Beales would invest in shop fits and review the mix of concessions and own brand to return Robbs of Hexham to a “proper variety department store”.

He added: “We’re delighted to save 140 jobs at an iconic retailer.”

Brown would not comment on a potential acquisition of the other department stores in the Vergo group, which include Joplings in Sunderland and Derrys in Plymouth, but he said: “As a business we have ambitions to grow.”

Property entrepreneur Andrew Perloff, who upped his stake in Beales from 10% to 29.7% in February has previously said he would back the retailer’s growth plans.

The Vergo Retail group went into administration last month. Administrator MCR announced that nine of the group’s stores had been earmarked for closure. One store in Dovercourt in Norwich has already been shuttered.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Its great to see an iconic indie department store being rescued but it is only one out of the 19 stores that were part of Vergo Retail to be saved so far.
    Go on, Beales, snap up some more and keep those heritage stores trading.

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