January 20, 2020 / 1:02 PM / a month ago

UK department store retailer Beales enters administration

LONDON (Reuters) - British department store retailer Beales has collapsed into administration, a form of creditor protection, putting 1,052 jobs at risk, administrator KPMG said on Monday.

The 139-year old retailer operates 23 department stores in market towns across Britain, selling furniture, fashion, toys and cosmetics.

“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,” said Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.

KMPG will continue to trade all 23 stores as a going concern while they assess options for the business, including dealing with prospective interested parties.

Britain’s department store sector has been under intense pressure from weak demand and rising costs for several years.

BHS went bust in 2016, House of Fraser was bought out of administration in 2018 by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, now called Frasers Group (FRAS.L), and Debenhams went into administration in April and is now owned by its lenders.

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young

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