Bedford Beales to close tomorrow due to coronavirus

The department store was due to close in two weeks

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 1:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 1:50 pm

Beales, one of the oldest department stores in Britain, will close earlier than expected.

The joint administrators, Will Wright and Steve Absolom from KPMG, confirmed all remaining Beales stores will close tomorrow (Thursday, March 19).

While this is two weeks ahead of the administrators’ original schedule, the administrators admitted the impact of Covid-19 on the retail environment has meant that trading can no longer be supported.

Beales (Google)

In a statement, they confirmed staff would continue to work until close of business on March 21 to help box-up residual stock and assist with various other closure issues.

"Regrettably, the majority of employees will then be made redundant, with all salaries paid up to and including the date of their redundancy," the statement added.

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.”

The store - in Harpur Street and Silver Street - was previously Braggins and had been in the town for 37 years.