'Terrible blow for the town': Diss shoppers' reaction to Beales collapse
PUBLISHED: 15:30 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:37 20 January 2020
Shoppers have reacted with sadness to department store chain Beales going into administration putting the future of its Diss store at risk of permanent closure.
The national chain, which runs shops across Norfolk and Suffolk, including in Beccles, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, has appointed KPMG as administrators.
They said that no stores will be closed immediately and there will be no instant job losses.
The Diss store is one of the largest on Mere Street. Beales acquired it from Westgate department stores in 2011.
There are no obviously signs of it having gone into administration, however the final clearance sales signs in the windows now look grimly prophetic.
Shoppers expressed a mixture of sadness and resignation that another shop could be lost from the town centre.
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Jeanette Vial, from Stradbroke, said: "It's such a shame. I come quite a lot. It's a traditional shop, like a little department store, so it will be so sad if it goes. I know a few of the girls who work there too, so I am so sad that they will probably lose their jobs too.
"This is probably the biggest shop on Mere Street so it will be terrible for the town if it closes. It is really gutting."
MORE: Department store chain Beales collapses into administration
Sue Donaldson, who lives in Oakley, said: "It has always been there for the 35 years I've lived here. It was the Co-Op and Westgate, now the town won't have a department store at all.
"It seems to be happening everywhere and it will hit Diss hard. There aren't many places left selling clothes in town and no shoe shops at all. Like most people I have to go to Norwich more and more now."
Bev North, from Diss, said: "Shops are struggling everywhere, it's the internet. Also the selection of clothes they sell isn't very inspiring. It's OK for a few basics but they needed to do more to attract people."
Derek and Elaine Chestney, from Pulham Market, were just heading into the store. Mr Chestney said: "We shop here and at the one in Beccles. We had heard it was struggling but it'd be a real shame if they closed.
"It is a big store, right in the centre. More room for charity shops I suppose."