Beales department store on Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Beales in Southport will close today.
The iconic 139-year-old department store on Lord Street, previously home to Broadbents, was due to continue trading until the end of this month.
But with trade hit by the Coronavirus outbreak, the landmark’s joint administrators have made the decision to close now rather than to carry on.
Two of the Beales shops have already been shut, in Hexham on February 24 and Great Yarmouth on March 15.
Southport will be one of the chain’s 21 stores to shut their doors for the final time this week.

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The news will come as a huge blow to many of the firm’s 1,000 employees who had expected two more weeks of trading.
But KPMG’s Will Wright and Steve Absolom said the impact of Covid-19 on the retail environment has meant trading can no longer be supported.
Administrators said staff will continue to work until close of business this Saturday to help box-up residual stock and assist with various other issues.
They said the move will mean the majority of employees are made redundant, with all salaries paid up to and including the date of their redundancy.

Beales department store on Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Beales department store on Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Will Wright, partner at KPMG 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.”
In February, it was announced KPMG could not find a buyer for the firm.

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