Department store chain Beales is preparing to shutter all of its stores after administrators were unable to find a buyer for the business, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
KPMG said it will “continue discussions with a number of interested parties for a sale of the business as a going concern” but has begun preparing the remaining 11 stores for closure.
A further 20 members of staff at Beales’ Bournemouth head office have been made redundant.
The remaining stores are expected to trade for a further eight weeks while closing down sales are conducted, with staff retained to assist with trading.
The retailer – which was founded in 1881 – collapsed into administration in January after failing to secure a rescue deal, citing high rents and business rates and disappointing trading over the Christmas period.
KPMG announced earlier this month that 12 of the company’s 23 stores would close after no offers were received to sell the whole portfolio as a going concern.
Will Wright, joint administrator, said: “We’d like to thank all Beales employees for their wholehearted support and assistance during the administration process.
“We understand that the failure to achieve a sale so far will come as disappointing news, but can assure them that we will continue in our efforts to secure some form of positive outcome.”
Last month, City A.M revealed that the department store’s auditor Nexia Smith and Williamson could face scruitiny from the industry regulator, as Beales collapsed just over four months after it was given a financial clean bill of health.