In yet another blow for gift and home suppliers, it has been confirmed that the final 11 Beales stores are set to close, as no offers have been received for the department store group, although the administrators, KPMG, are continuing discussions for the sale of the business as a going concern.
The company went into administration in January, announcing plans to close 12 of its 23 outlets. The 11 stores are likely to continue to trading for the next eight weeks.
The first Beales store opened its doors in Bournemouth in 1881 – and went on to sell gifts, homewares and housewares alongside furniture, fashion and beauty.
In a management buyout (MBO) at the end of October 2018, chief executive Tony Brown bought 97% of the shares, backed by a private equity group. He worked at Beales from 2008-13, returning as chief executive in 2017. In 2010, Beales bought rival Westgate.