Beales store in Fareham to close as administrators announce plans to shut all stores

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A DEPARTMENT store branch is set to close after administrators announced plans to shut all stores.

The final 11 Beales department stores, including the branch in Fareham Shopping Centre which opened in November, are set to shut, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

The retailer went into administration last month, before announcing plans to shut 12 of its 23 outlets.

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Administrators at KPMG said they are continuing discussions with ‘a number of interest parties’ over a sale, but have started preparations to close the remaining stores after failing to receive any ‘deliverable offers’.

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Bosses previously said there was no intention to close the 11 remaining stores but after today’s announcement the shops are expected to trade for just eight weeks while closing down sales take place.

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The Fareham store was only opened on November 8 last year and created 30 jobs.

Beales’ owner and chief executive, Tony Brown told The News at the time it would bring him 'great pleasure' to open the new branch - as he is a ‘local boy’ with wider family living in Gosport.

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The ground floor unit taken by Beales was left empty previously after Marks and Spencer closed in April last year.

Will Wright, joint administrator for the company, said: ‘We'd like to thank all Beales employees for their wholehearted support and assistance during the administration process.

‘We understand that the failure to achieve a sale so far will come as disappointing news, but can assure them that we will continue in our efforts to secure some form of positive outcome.’

The company has also made a further 20 staff redundant at its head office in Bournemouth, KPMG said.

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It added that, if a sale is not achieved, the precise closure date of each store will vary, depending on trading performance.

The 139-year-old business employed approximately 1,050 people before announcing its first closures.

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