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Coronavirus accelerates Beales stores closures

Beales will close all of its remaining stores tomorrow (19 March), two weeks ahead of its administrators’ original schedule as coronavirus impacts trade. 

The struggling department store collapsed into administration in January, appointing Will Wright and Steve Absolom of KPMG. 

It has now been announced that all stores will close tomorrow, two weeks ahead of schedule as “the impact of Covid-19 on the retail environment has meant that trading can no longer be supported”. 

Staff will continue to work until 21 March to help box up residual stock and assist in store closures.

The majority of employees will then be made redundant, with all salaries paid up to and including the date of their redundancy. 

Two of Beales 23 stores have already closed. The Hexham store closed on 24 February and the Great Yarmouth store on 15 March. 

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Whilst it is regrettable that we have had to take this decision, especially given the fantastic support that the staff have provided to the business and the administrators since our appointment, the impact of these unprecedented circumstances has left us with no alternative option.

“We will be working with employees to ensure they have all the necessary information to submit claims to the Redundancy Payments Service, together with details of who to contact for any help and support they may require.”

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