Beales to "accelerate" restructuring amid "brutal retail environment"

Department store Beales has drafted in business advisors to explore refinancing options, reports have revealed.
According to Sky News, the 138-year-old chain is keen to explore debt-raising options that would “enable it to accelerate its restructuring amid a brutal retail environment”.
It is believed that the firm, which was recently privatised by investor Andrew Perloff after buying the store for just £1.2 million in 2015, will negotiate rent reductions and lease terms with the landlords of its 22 stores.
Reports also suggest that closing some of its underperforming stores is an option, as well as selling off the firm to outside investors.
Commenting on the plan, the Beales board of directors said certain stores are performing well while existing restructuring activities have produced “encouraging results”.
“The group continues to acclimatise to the ever-changing landscape and challenges of the retail market. Investment is sought to deliver a sustainable business model for the future,” it said.
However, the chain – which employs around 1,300 people nationwide – said it is looking to cut costs ahead of difficult trading conditions, adding that it would refocus on homeware, domestic appliances, fashion accessories and shoes.
The news comes after Beales won creditors’ backing for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in 2016, enabling the group to restructure without the threat of debt collection. Just one year later, directors took control of the company in a management buyout (MBO).
In October this year, the company revealed it had made a £3 million loss. Around £1 million of this was related to costs incurred during the MBO.

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