Department store chain Beales has fallen into administration, after failing to find a last-minute buyer.
UPDATE: All remaining Beales stores will close on Thursday 19 March, two weeks ahead of the original schedule. According to the administrators, ‘the impact of COVID-19 on the retail environment has meant that trading can no longer be supported.’
KPMG, the firm appointed to act as administrators, says trading has been incredibly tough, made worse by disappointing sales over Christmas.
Closing down sales have started in its 23 stores, which are making preparations to close for good.
If you’re a Beales customer, here’s everything you need to know about your consumer rights.
Refunds and gift cards
If you’ve bought something from Beales in the past few weeks, you can still get a refund or exchange in store, but you should make your returns as soon as possible before the stores close.
Likewise, any outstanding gift cards are still being honoured in-store, but be sure to spend them swiftly.
If you’ve bought someone else vouchers, it’s a good idea to contact them and let them know what’s happened.
What to do if you’re awaiting an order
KPMG has said it’s attempting to source stock from suppliers to fulfill outstanding orders.
If orders can’t be sourced, customers are being offered alternative goods to the value paid.
The administrators advise customers to seek refunds from their credit card providers if they’re unhappy with the alternative products offered.
If Beales already holds the stock for an order, KPMG has confirmed that the items will be delivered.
Make sure to keep an eye on your order status if you’re yet to receive a parcel, as there’s a chance it could be cancelled or not fulfilled.
We’ll update this page when we hear more.
Your rights when a retailer goes bust
Beales stores are currently open and trading, but the situation could change.
If you’re left with an unwanted item, or don’t receive an order you’ve paid for and you’re unable to get a resolution in store, here’s what you can do:
- You can make a claim against your credit card provider for payments over £100.
- If you paid by debit card, you can try a chargeback claim.
- Depending on your cover, you can make a claim with your home insurer.
- If you have a third-party warranty, you may be able to claim a refund or repair from the manufacturer.
- You can also make a claim to the administrator explaining what you’re owed and what it’s for.
Which? consumer rights expert Adam French, said: ‘Beales falling into administration is the latest example of traditional high street retailers struggling to adapt to changing shopping habits.
‘While stores remain open, your consumer rights should be unaffected, but we would advise anyone with Beales gift vouchers to consider spending them as soon as possible.
‘If you’re planning to shop in Beales and intend to buy something worth more than £100, make sure you use a credit card as you’ll be able to make a claim against your credit card company to recover the money if anything goes wrong.’
Read more about what to do if a retailer goes into administration.
Beales has stores in the following towns and cities:
- Chipping Norton
- Palmers Great Yarmouth
- St Neots