Beales administration: New department store in Fareham at risk

A NEW department store that only launched in Fareham last November could go into administration.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 10:23 am
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 12:25 pm

Beales, one of Britain's oldest department stores, is at risk of collapse unless it can find a buyer.

The firm, which began trading in Bournemouth in 1881, said 22 stores and 1,000 jobs were at risk.

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The Mayor, Councillor Mrs Pamela Bryant cutting the ribbon with Nigel Beale, Tony Brown on the right. In the background is Councillor Mrs Louise Clubley, Store director Matt Roberts, Deputy Store Director David Moyse and Centre Manager Mike Taylor.

It means that Beales in Fareham Shopping Centre, which only opened on November 8, is in danger of closing.

The store created 30 new jobs in the 27,000sq ft site on the ground floor of the shopping centre.

Beales’ owner and chief executive, Tony Brown said at the time it would bring him 'great pleasure' to open the new branch - as he is a ‘local boy’.

He said: ‘My first job was in the Schweppes factory.

‘And with my wider family still living in Gosport, I know my mum will be pleased to be able to use her Beales card on a regular basis.’

The unit was empty after Marks and Spencer closed in April last year before Beales moved in.

Beales is hoping to avoid going into administration with the company in talks with its landlords to agree rent reductions.

It is also thought to be in talks with two potential buyers which include a rival retailer and a venture capital investor.

Mr Brown led a management buyout of the firm in 2018.