BEALES in Poole is to reopen as a “local, premium store”, with the aim of welcoming back customers on August 1.

The move comes months after the historic Beales chain of department stores went into administration with the loss of more than 1,000 jobs across the country.

Panther Securities, whose chairman Andrew Perloff owned Beales for three years, has taken over the lease of the three-storey shop in the Dolphin Shopping Centre.

A new business, New Start 2020, with Mr Perloff among its board of directors, has bought the Beales brand.

It has hired Tony Brown – who ran Beales as chief executive before taking ownership in a management buyout – to lead the project.

Bournemouth Echo:

Beales goes into administration, putting future of stores and jobs in doubt

Mr Brown told the Daily Echo: “We intend to open the store with both national brands and are in active talks with local independent brands who want concessions.

“We’re very interested, as it’s only one store, to give local brands and businesses the opportunity.”

He said the shop would use all three trading floors and would feature a “mix of family favourites and higher end brands”.

“We want to try and get the mix right to suit the diverse customer base in Poole,” he added.

The store will also sell products online.

Beales stores close for the last time

During his two spells in charge of Beales, Mr Brown was known for buying stock that could be sold at eye-catching discounts during special sales events.

But he said the new Beales in Poole would take a different approach.

“We do not intend to be discounting anything,” he said.

“We want a local premium store.

“Customers will notice a real difference between the old Beales and the new Beales.”

Beales took £9.6m in barely a month after administrators launched clearance sales

As well as fashions, the store will have a furniture department and a household gifts section.

The old Beales was founded in Bournemouth in 1881 and grew to have branches all over the country.

Bournemouth Echo:

Its Poole branch, originally called Bealesons, was as old as the Dolphin Shopping Centre, which opened as the Arndale Centre in 1969.

Photos: The Beales story in the store's own pictures

In recent years, Beales was hit hard by the problems facing UK high streets, including high rents, crippling business rates and competition from online.

It went into administration in January and the final branches closed in March after the coronavirus crisis brought an early end to clearance sales.

Administrators from KPMG, who were unable to find a buyer, said Beales owed £12.6million in loans and had a mutli-million pound pension deficit.

Mr Brown said: “We’re setting up a very much smaller business with very much smaller overheads.

“We’re confident that working with national brands and working with local brands we’ll make a success, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it.”