Tough time ahead for staff at Beales in Peterborough as retailer fights for survival

Staff at department store Beales in Peterborough are facing an uncertain future as the retailer battles for its survival.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 11:32 am
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 12:02 pm
Beales, in Westgate, Peterborough.

Bosses are reported to be searching for a buyer for the 139-year-old company, which has a huge store in Park Road, Westgate, Peterborough, plus stores in Spalding and Wisbech.

The company is reported to have experienced a poor Christmas trading and is expected to collapse into administration if a buyer cannot be secured.

Chief executive Tony Brown refused to comment this morning (Monday).

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The company, thought to be the country's oldest retailer, has 22 shops across the UK and employs about 1,000 people.

Mr Brown is reported to have described Christmas as "failing to deliver what we thought it could achieve. It has been the most challenging time for retail on record."

The warning of Beales' collapse comes three years after the retailer was thrown a lifeline by creditors who accepted proposals to cut rents on 11 of its 29 stores nationwide.

It comes as analysts warn that 2020 could see many more high street closures with too many retailers chasing too little business.