Department store Beales takes over former McEwens site in Perth
Beales, which has twenty stores across England, could begin trading in the former McEwens store in the city’s St John Street before the end of this year, after today’s announcement.
Over a hundred 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.
Shoppers were shocked to be turned away from the store and administrators confirmed the end of the company following a closing down sale in the flagship store.
The closure of the family-run business also saw branches in Oban and Ballater close, and was described by then council leader Ian Miller as a ‘significant loss for Perth and the wider region’.
Now, the vacant storefront will be used for another department store business, with Bournemouth-based Beales striking a deal to add the Perth site to their stable of stores.
Tony Brown, CEO of Beales said: “Beales is the largest independent market town department store group in the United Kingdom, owned by Andrew Perloff and his family interests.
“Working closely with Perth and Kinross Council we hope to get the store open by November. We recognise Perth to be one of the most innovative cities in Scotland with a great heritage and a forward thinking council.
“We are confident that Beales will be able to meet the needs of our new customers in Perth and surrounding area, continuing Perth’s tradition of offering all that is best from a local, independent department store.”
Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, Councillor Ian Campbell, said: “This is fantastic news for the city of Perth and the surrounding area.
“The former McEwens building is a flagship site in the city centre, and it will be great to see it coming back into use, particularly as home to an established independent business.
“The decision by Beales to make Perth the location for their first Scottish store is a ringing endorsement of our city as a place for business investment and growth, and I look forward to seeing them open their doors to new customers later in the year.”
Local MP Pete Wishart expressed his delight at the news, tweeting: “This is fantastic news for the city and is the result of all the hard work put in by everyone since McEwans closed.”