Beales to reopen in Southport with a new look - creating 40 new jobs
Department store Beales will reopen in Southport next month.
Building work and shop refitting is currently going on behind the doors of the landmark Lord Street building, part of the historic Wayfarers Arcade, ready for when it opens in August.
Beales will employ around 40 members of staff and is making a much-anticipated return to Southport following a total investment of around £800,000.
Beales closed its doors in March last year as the Covid pandemic hit the UK and the firm went into administration, the same month that Debenhams also closed in a double blow to Lord
Street in Southport.
The brand is now owned by New Start 2020 and headed up by Tony Brown chief executive of the former Beales.
Last year he opened Beales in Poole, followed by Peterborough earlier this year with Southport due to be their third store.
Tony Brown said: “This is a new concept for Beales, one which we have launched in our stores in Poole and Peterborough where it has proved to be really successful.
“I honestly believe that customers want to see a local department store opening in Southport again.
“The old department store model is broken, because it was too costly to maintain.
“We now have a new model which is predominantly concession driven.
“Around 90 per cent of the new store will be concessions, and we have some exciting brands coming in.
“We had a queue of brands wanting to come to Southport, which is really positive.
“We have most of them already signed up, but are looking for a furniture concession to join us.
“We will try to offer a different experience to shoppers while also providing something for different age profiles.
“One concession joining us will be Forever New, a very popular Australian brand, which is really exciting for us.
“We will have the biggest footwear outlet in Southport, and will also open a new chiropody shop and treatment rooms with state of the art equipment.
“In Time watch repairs, which is based in Southport, will have a section here.
“We are looking to open a cafe downstairs, enjoying the beautiful views into Wayfarers Arcade, so people don’t have to climb up to the top floor where it used to be.
“We will be selling perfumes here, but not cosmetics any more.”
Other concessions will include: fashion; homewear; bathroom accessories; luggage; electrical; seasonal; and many more. Brands will include: Forever New, Brakeburn, Crew,
Craghoppers, Regatta, Caribou, Harveys Luggage and others.
Mr Brown added: “We should have around 40 people working here when we open, a mixture between full-time and part-time.
“We want to give priority to people we know and people who have worked with us before, and we are delighted to see some of our former employees coming back to join us again.
“Our Store Manager when we open, Steve Williams, used to be the deputy here.
“We will have some new blood with us as well.
“We are also backing the Government’s Kick Start Scheme, so we can give young people the opportunity to gain some experience and learn all about retail.
“Once we open, we are looking forward to seeing more new businesses coming into Wayfarers Arcade.
“I think we will become a catalyst for even more growth and investment in Southport, I certainly hope so.”
Southport Business Improvement District (Southport BID) chief executive Rachel Fitzgerald is encouraging people to support Beales when it opens this August.
She said: “There are many people who have confidence in Southport, both landlords and business owners.
“The reopening of Beales demonstrates the investment they are prepared to put into our town.
“It is our responsibility, local people, to continuously invest in our town so we all can enjoy the benefits of a thriving Southport.
“The success and prosperity of our town lies in our hands.”
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