Store closing posters appear at under-threat Mansfield store

Store closing and everything must go posters have appeared in the windows of an under-threat Mansfield store.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 12:23 pm

The posters have appeared at department store Beales, after the chain collapsed into administration earlier this week – although no closures have been confirmed.

KPMG Restructuring was appointed administrator of the 140-year-old company, which has 23 stores, on Tuesday.

Will Wright, a partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “For more than 100 years, Beales has been a stalwart of the high street in market towns up and down the UK.

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Everying Must Go posters have appeared in the window of Beales in Mansfield.

"However, like countless similar retailers, it has found trading in recent times to be incredibly tough.

“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.”

Shoppers in Mansfield reacted with sadness, but no surprise at the news regarding the store, which was known as Westgate until it was taken over by Beales in 2011, although business leaders have pledged support.

Indeed, Beales is not the first department store chain to struggle financially in recent times – both House of Fraser and Debenhams have faced problems.

Mike Ashley, founder and owner of Shirebrook-based Sports Direct, described House of Fraser’s finances as “nothing short of terminal in nature” after taking over the company in 2018.

Rick Smith, managing director of business management consultancy Forbes Burton, told retail news publisher Retail Gazette: “Department stores are undoubtedly facing one of their most challenging periods in a long time.

“Shopping trends are changing and department stores are struggling to diversify and adapt their offerings.

“The most successful stores, Next for example, do so well because of the way that they use online sales to bolster sales in their physical stores.

“It’s unlikely Beales can bounce back from this.

“It doesn’t have as many stores as the other larger departments stores such as Debenhams and House of Fraser, and definitely doesn’t have as much brand recognition.”