PLANS are being laid to close all the remaining branches of Beales, including the Fareham branch that only opened last November.

Almost a month after the department store chain went into administration, joint administrators from KPMG said talks were still going on with “a number of interested parties”.

But with no “deliverable offers”, they are starting preparations to close all the stores.

KPMG had already announced that the flagship Bournemouth store was set to close, along with 11 other branches.

The latest announcement affects the remaining 11 branches – including the one in Fareham Shopping Centre.

Twenty more staff have been laid off at the company’s Bournemouth head office, on top of 32 already made redundant.

A statement said: “The joint administrators of the Beales department store chain, Will Wright and Steve Absolom from KPMG, confirm that they continue discussions with a number of interested parties for a sale of the business as a going concern.

“However, with no deliverable offers received for the business to date, it is with regret that the administrators announce that they are commencing preparations for the closure of the remaining 11 stores and associated stock liquidation. In addition, a further 20 members of staff have been made redundant from the Beales head office in Bournemouth.

“In line with the closures announced previously, it is anticipated that stores will trade for a period of approximately eight weeks while the closing down sales are conducted.

“Employees across the stores will be retained to assist with trading over the weeks ahead, and the joint administrators and their teams will continue to work closely with staff during this period.

“If a sale is not achieved, the precise closure date for each store will vary, depending on trading performance and other factors encountered during the closure process. The joint administrators are therefore unable to confirm exact closure dates until later in the process.”  

Will Wright, joint administrator, said: “We’d like to thank all Beales employees for their wholehearted support and assistance during the administration process. We understand that the failure to achieve a sale so far will come as disappointing news, but can assure them that we will continue in our efforts to secure some form of positive outcome.”