King’s Lynn Beales store due to close
Shockwaves have been sent around Lynn town centre after closing down signs gone up in a prominent shop.
The Broad Street store employs a total of 38 people and the company has stated the final date of trading.
Earlier this year , the Beales Department Store group announced plans to seek a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), to renegotiate leases which it claimed were no longer sustainable
The Lynn branch was among almost half of the company’s sites where an agreement was being sought to pay just 30 per cent of current rent charges for 10 months, while talks take place on new arrangements.
Under the terms of the agreement, landlords of those stores were asked to re-structure their lease agreements or repossess the buildings.
But this proposal does not appear to have worked for the Lynn store.
A company statement issued today (Monday, April 25) says: “Beales confirms that its store in Lynn is due to close. The store is currently running a Closing Down Sale.
“The lease for the store expires in December 2016 and a decision has been taken by the Board not to renew.
“Beales currently employs 25 staff at its Kings Lynn store and a further 13 staff are employed by concessionaires.”
Chairman of Lynn Town Centre Darren Taylor says high streets need to embrace the changes now posed.
He said: “From a town centre point of view, it would be a shame to lose a key retailer.
“But at the moment the immediate concern of the town centre partnership is what is going to happen with the staff at Beales.
“Communication has not been particularly good from the management of Beales to the staff.
“High streets are faced with a number of challenges as shopping habits change and it is important that town centres are proactive and embrace change rather than just sit back and wait for the inevitable.”
Mr Taylor said the town is below the national average for its rates of empty shops.
He said: “Given the size of the store it is far more likely to be a decent retail offering.”
Beales stores in Wisbech and Spalding were not affected by the CVA proposals and remain profitable.
The news of the Lynn store has broke in the same week that national retailer BHS is due to file for administration.