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Beales plugs concession gap with Crimson

Department store Beales has launched a new womenswear label called Crimson to help fill the void left by the high-profile collapses of retailers and concessionaires Principles, Bay Trading and Viyella.

The summer range went into stores last week. It includes blouses at £39, skirts at £40 and dresses at £54, and is aimed at women aged 35 and over.

Beales chief executive Tony Brown said Crimson would be expanded for this autumn and that the business was also working on a menswear own brand to launch in spring 10.

“We will develop the Crimson brand all the way to autumn and we will have really got to grips with it by next summer,” he said. “There’s so much volatility in the concessions market with the likes of Principles, Bay Trading and Viyella going in and out of administration, and also Beales has never done its own brand well. We will make Crimson look like a concession brand. It will give us a point of exclusivity as well.”

Beales will also put the new George Davies-created womenswear brand GIVe into all its 11 stores in October and is relaunching its transactional website this autumn.

Beales is set to report on its first-half performance next week. In March it said like-for-like sales fell 4.5% for the 19 weeks to March 14. In January the business renegotiated its banking facilities and secured a £9 million loan.

Beales has stores in Bedford, Bournemouth in Dorset, Horsham and Worthing in West Sussex, Kendal in Cumbria, Poole in Dorset, Tonbridge in Kent and Winchester in Hampshire, as well as owning Broadbents & Boothroyds of Southport in Mersyside, Denners of Yeovil in Somerset, and Whitakers of Bolton.

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