Worthing town centre department store goes into administration

Beales has gone into administration
Beales has gone into administration

The company that runs a well-known department store in the town centre has gone into administration.

According to national news outlets, Beales has appointed KPMG as administrators after failing to get a buyer for the company.

Last week, company bosses warned that if a new buyer could not be found, 1,000 jobs could be at risk.

The Beales website is currently offline, but the shop remains open.

In December last year, Worthing Borough councillors voted to revamp buildings owned by Beales as the retailer downsized the store.

More than 5,200 sqft of new smaller retail units will be created in Montague Place for independent and bespoke retailers, in addition to a 6,000 sqft store in South Street.

A series of one, two and three bedroom properties will then be created above the retail space, nine of which will be affordable housing.

With this news breaking, it is currently unclear how it will affect the plans.

The company is one of the country's oldest department stores, starting in Bournemouth in 1881, and has 22 stores.

It completed a management buyout in October 2018 led by its chief executive, Tony Brown.

In the year to March 2019, Beale Ltd posted a loss of £3.1m, up from £1.3m for the year earlier as costs swelled and sales dipped, the BBC reported.

Worthing Borough Council has been approached for comment.