Beales (department store)

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Beale plc
Industry Retail
Genre Department Store
Founded 1881; 136 years ago
Founder John Elmes Beale
Headquarters Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Number of locations
Key people
Andrew Perloff
Stuart Lyons
Simon Peters
Mark Newton Jones
Joe Wilkes
Mike Ashley
Subsidiaries J E Beale plc

Beales is an English department store chain, currently operating 22 branches. The flagship store, Beales in Bournemouth, was established as The Fancy Fair by John Elmes Beale in 1881 and is currently the biggest department store in Dorset.

The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange until its private equity takeover.


Beales was established in 1881 by John Elmes Beale when he opened a store in Bournemouth. Whitakers, the Bolton department store opened in 1829 was bought by Beales in 1996, with the name changed to Beales in 2011.[1]

The group acquired the Bentalls department stores in Ealing (closed October 2007), Tonbridge and Worthing from Fenwick in 2002 and closed its Walton-on-Thames store in January 2006.

A new Beales store opened in Horsham in September 2006 in premises formerly occupied by Allders.

On 4 June 2010 Beales acquired the Robbs department store in Hexham from Vergo Retail which was in administration, for £250,000.[2]

In August 2010 Beales expanded further by acquiring the Westgate Department Store in Rochdale from the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society.[3]

As of 5 April 2011, Beales acquired 19 additional Westgate stores, securing its long-term future.[4]

In May 2012 Beales announced it would be opening an outlet store in the old T.J. Hughes store in The Mall Maidstone. This store closed in June 2013.[5] In addition a branch in Skipton closed in November 2012, a branch in Cinderford closed in July 2013 [1].

In summer 2014, the large Harrogate store closed for re-development of the land by the landlord.

In June 2016 a planning application submitted by AEW UK for 76 flats in Bournemouth's Beales store was unanimously rejected[6][7] after a campaign by locals and the owners of Beales backed by Conor Burns MP.[8] The 65 studio and 11 one bedroom flats with no parking which were described by AEW UK as "an environmentally sustainable approach" which "made the best use of the building"[9] were rejected by councillors as "shabby" and "appalling".[10]

Current operations

Beales is a member of Associated Independent Stores (a buying group) which enables Beales to benefit from the cost savings of buying textiles and other non-food goods in bulk.

Department store locations

Beales, Bournemouth

Current locations

Former locations

Beales in Harrogate in 2013. This branch closed in 2014 and was demolished in 2015.

See also

List of department stores of the United Kingdom


  1. ^ "Bolton Town Cenre Department Store Beales in Deansgate could be forced to close because of High Rents - Bolton Evening News p.8 March 2016". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  2. ^ Amy Shields (4 June 2010). "Beales acquires Robbs of Hexham". Retail Week.
  3. ^ "Beales acquires Rochdale department store". HousewaresLive.Net. 9 August 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011.
  4. ^ Amy Shields; Nicola Harrison (5 April 2011). "Beales to acquire 19 department stores". Drapers.
  5. ^ "Beales department store to close in Maidstone". Kent Online. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Council unanimously rejects "shabby" and "appalling" Beales flats plans". The Herald Scotland. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Council unanimously rejects "shabby" and "appalling" Beales flats plans". Lancashire Telegraph. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Beales Department Store Planning Application". Conor Burns MP. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  9. ^ Farrell, Stephen (22 March 2016). "FLATS PLANNED FOR LANDMARK DEPARTMENT STORE". Insider Media Ltd. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Council unanimously rejects "shabby" and "appalling" Beales flats plans". Lancashire Telegraph. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
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  12. ^ "Beales kicks off stores drive with new format". Retail Week. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
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External links

  • Beales website
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