Department store chain Beales has gone into administration, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk.
The retailer has appointed KPMG as administrator after failing to find a buyer or new investment for the business.
All 23 stores will remain open for the time being. However, the website has been taken offline.
Advisers from KPMG were hired in December 2019 to explore possible sale and refinancing opportunities. KPMG said that despite interest from several parties, the 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.
KPMG partner Will Wright, who is joint administrator to Beales, said: “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.
“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.”
The department store began trading in Bournemouth in 1881 and employs around 1,052 staff.
Its operating losses grew to £2m in the year to 31 March 2019, from £865,000 the year before. Turnover was £48.3m in 2019, marginally down from £48.7m in 2018.
Location of stores:
- St Neots
- Chipping Norton
- Great Yarmouth