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  1. ITV Report

Department store Beales collapses into administration

The chain's most recent accounts, for the year to the end of March 2019, showed a pre-tax loss of £3.17m Credit: ITV Anglia

One of Britain's oldest department stores has collapsed into administration, putting 1,000 jobs at risk.

Beales which began trading in Bournemouth in 1881, has 22 stores nationwide including Bedford, Diss in Norfolk, Lowestoft, Peterborough, St Neots in Cambridgeshire and Wisbech.

The retailer has failed to find a buyer after it announced it was in trouble last week.

Chief executive Tony Brown had previously spoken about how the retailer has struggled with difficult trading conditions and criticised the "lunacy" of high business rates.

Beales has 22 outlets across the UK, including six in our region Credit: ITV Anglia

Beales has appointed KPMG as administrators after failing to secure a sale.

The company's website has been taken down, although the stores will continue trading while administrators look for a buyer.

Beales reported losses of more than three million pounds in the year to March 2019.

Retail experts say the way we shop has changed - and that could spell the end for the traditional high street. Credit: ITV Anglia

The company's decision to appoint administrators comes at a difficult time for UK retailers.

It's the latest store to suffer from soaring business rates and the public deserting shopping centres in record numbers.

In the last decade (2009-2019), the number of people visiting high streets in the Anglia region has fallen by 23.5%. This is higher than the national average of 20.5%, according to the Local Data company.