Beales’ store closing in King’s Lynn

Beales in Kings Lynn is closing. Picture: Ian Burt

Beales in Kings Lynn is closing. Picture: Ian Burt

Nearly 40 jobs could be lost at a King’s Lynn department store that is closing after 30 years in the town.

Beales, based in the Vancouver Quarter shopping centre, employs 25 staff with a further 13 employed by concessionaires.

A spokesman said: “Beales can confirm that its store in King’s 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.”

Last month, the Beales’ group announced plans to seek a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), to renegotiate leases at nearly half its stores, including Lynn, which it claimed were no longer sustainable.

Abbie Panks, centre manager at the Vancouver Quarter, said: “We are disappointed to learn that despite supporting the store during its CVA, Beales has taken the decision to include King’s Lynn in its store closures.

“The store has been part of the town for over 30 years and it is far too early to speculate on what will happen with the unit; our focus will be on supporting the staff over the coming months.”

Michael Baldwin, general manager of the Bank House Hotel in King’s Lynn and vice-president of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, North West Norfolk, said: “It’s a real shame that it’s closing. I would like to see someone like Waitrose take it on, or another big department store.”

Beales is based in Bournemouth, where the company began trading in 1881. In 2011, it bought 18 department stores, including many in East Anglia, owned by the Anglia Retail Cooperative Society. Beales also has stores in Beccles, Diss, Lowestoft and Wisbech.

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