Crunch rescue talks for owner of Scottish department store

Beales acquired the historic site of the former McEwens department store in Perth city centre in 2017. Picture: Contributed
Beales acquired the historic site of the former McEwens department store in Perth city centre in 2017. Picture: Contributed
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Beales, the department store chain with a store in Perth, has warned that it may still fall into administration if it fails to secure a rescue deal, with some 1,000 jobs at risk.

The Bournemouth-headquartered retailer is understood to be hopeful that a deal can be secured, but could still be forced to bring in administrators.

Beales, which was founded in 1881 by John Elmes Beale, employs about 1,000 staff and another 300 in concessions across its 22 stores. It was sold in a management buy-out to group chief executive Anthony Brown in October 2018.

Beales acquired the historic site of the former McEwens department store in Perth city centre in 2017. More than 100 jobs were lost in Perth and Kinross in March of 2016 when McEwens, which had been operating in the St John Street location for nearly 150 years, unexpectedly went into administration.

Last month, Beales hired advisers at KPMG to lead a strategic review in order to find a profitable future for the business.

The company is understood to be in talks with landlords over rent reductions and it has been reported that the firm has also spoken with two potential buyers – a venture capital investor and a rival retail business.

READ MORE: Owner of Perth department store could be sold as financing options pondered at Beales