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Beales set to close 20 of 23 stores

Department store group, Beales, which fell into administration last month, is set to close 20 of its 23 branches after administrators KPMG failed to sell the estate.

The 12 stores will run closing sales over the next eight weeks and staff will keep their jobs until then. Beales employs about 1,050 members of staff.

The stores to be closed are located in Bournemouth, Hexham, Worthing, Tonbridge, Peterborough, Mansfield, Keighley, Perth, Spalding, Wisbech, Bedford and Yeovil.

The 140-year old business, that is majority-owned by Tony Brown since he led a management buyout of the firm in 2018, reported a loss of £3.1m in March 2019, up from £1.3m the year before.

Beales is the latest high street store to suffer major losses as UK’s high streets continue to struggle amid high business rates and rising popularity of online shopping.

The group's rivals, Debenhams and House of Fraser, have also faced recent setbacks, having gone financial restructuring to prevent them from going bust.