Department store chain Beales is to close four stores, two of which were included in its company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
Beales plans to shut its Winchester and Rochdale stores this summer, and both branches are holding closing down Sales. They were both part of the CVA, which was approved by creditors on March 24.
Its King’s Lynn store will also close this year after the retailer decided not to renew its lease, as will its store in Horsham, West Sussex, as previously reported.
The CVA proposed a rent reduction of 70% on 11 of its 29 stores for 10 months while it negotiated with landlords.
It said the rents on the Winchester and Rochdale stores were “unsustainable”.
Andrew Perloff, the property entrepreneur who bought the Beales chain last year, said it was starting to get back on track following the CVA: “The CVA helped enormously because we’ve now reduced the rent on all loss-making stores.
“The cost cuts the CVA allowed are coming through slowly. It’ll be a saving over the forthcoming year or two.”
Trade was “holding up”, said Perloff, who added: “We’re hoping for the good weather to continue, which will help.”
He concluded: ”The improvement will take a long time to come through. There’ll be big savings from the overheads and [we’re paying the] initial professional costs of the CVA, but we’re gradually improving. Things are carrying on as normal.”
He said Beales was looking at a replacement for retail director Anne Horton, who left last month, and said in the meantime there was a “good team in place”.
As previously reported the Beales in Horsham, Sussex, is to close this summer after the landlord demanded the lease be returned. It is not thought to be on the list of 11 stores affected by the CVA.