// Final 11 Beales department stores are set to shut two weeks earlier than planned
// Administrators made the decision after the coronavirus crisis saw a nosedive in trading
// Before administration, Beales employed 1050 shop floor staff across 23 stores
The final 11 Beales department stores are set to shut two weeks earlier than planned after the coronavirus pandemic prompted a nosedive in trading.
The remaining stores will close on Thursday, bringing an end the 139-year-old retailer, with employees then being made redundant.
Before it fell into administration in January, Beales employed 1050 shop floor staff across 23 stores.
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Administrators at KPMG said: “While this is two weeks ahead of the administrators’ original schedule, the impact of Covid-19 on the retail environment has meant that trading can no longer be supported.”
Staff will continue to work until close of business on Saturday to help box-up residual stock and assist with various other closure issues.
The majority of employees will then be made redundant, with all salaries paid up to and including the date of their redundancy.
Will Wright, KPMG partner and joint administrator, said: “Whilst it is regrettable that we have had to take this decision, especially given the fantastic support that the staff have provided to the business and the administrators since our appointment, the impact of these unprecedented circumstances has left us with no alternative option.
“We will be working with employees to ensure they have all the necessary information to submit claims to the Redundancy Payments Service, together with details of who to contact for any help and support they may require.”
The retailer slid into administration in January, before announcing plans to the initial 12 of its stores, as talks with potential buyers faltered.
It is the latest high street name to suffer from soaring business rates and the public deserting shopping centres in record numbers.
The final 11 stores set to close are:
– Chipping Norton
– Great Yarmouth
– St Neots
with PA Wires