POOLE will probably be the only town in the country to get a new department store this summer as a revamped Beales prepares to open.

The company behind the new Beales of Poole has revealed some of the brands which will be on sale in the store in the Dolphin Shopping Centre.

Leading fashion names such as Radley, Kipling, Apricot, Oasis and Warehouse will feature when the store opens at the start of August.

Beales will have a bookshop for the first time in many years as well as electricals and cookware and the store will be a full retail website.

Beales in Poole set to reopen in August

There will be a branch of the local business Naked Coffee from September.

The original Beales department store chain went into administration in January, 139 years after it was founded in Bournemouth.

A new business, New Start 2020, has bought the Beales brand and hired Tony Brown, chief executive of the old business, to launch the store.

Mr Brown said: “I think we must be the only department store business opening in the country, probably the world.”

Naked coffee strikes deal to open store in Beales in Poole

The Poole site was left bare after the old business was wound up and has been refurbished, with its layout of tills and stock designed to accommodate social distancing.

A fogging machine will be used to cleanse the store regularly. “We’re the first department store in the UK to do this,” said Mr Brown.

The new business will be dominated by concessions, drawn from famous national brands and local businesses. Mr Brown said concessions made up around 70 per cent of the old Beales and around 95 per cent of the new store.

“I’ve always believed brands have a much better view on how to manage their brands than someone like us who’s got a lot of brands together,” he said.

Beales stores close for the last time

The brands include Oasis, Warehouse, Lily and Me, Rieker, Van Dal, Padders, Lunar, Sock Shop, Tigi, Viz, Just Elegance, V&A Bedlinen, Joules (bedding), Arthur Price, Royal Scott Crystal, Radley, Kipling, Phase Eight, Apricot, Crew, Barbour, Jack & Hones, Craghoppers, Thierry Mugler, Tom Ford, Denby, Darlington, Bedeck and Sanderson.

The second floor will include a “hidden treasures” department offering stock at bargain prices. Instead of a toy department, there will be family games and gifts, as well as Lego.

The menswear department will no longer stock suits, which were declining in popularity even before the lockdown led to many office staff working from home. It will prioritise fashion and business casual instead.

Mr Brown said: “We’ve looked at what was working and what wasn’t working but more importantly we’re able to offer the customer great products and prices but also improve the experience.”

The refurbishment started in the lockdown with only four people at work. By the time the store opens, it will have created around 30-35 jobs, many of them filled by staff from the old Beales.

Mr Brown said: “Rightly or wrongly, I still believe in the department store format if it’s done well.”

Although shopping has hit footfall, research has suggested that shoppers are going out with a specific goal in mind.

“Everybody is saying their footfall is considerably down but their ‘conversion’ is 3-4 times higher than it ever was before,” he said.

“People are coming out and they’re coming out to shop.”

The government has given retailers a year-long business rates holiday because of the coronavirus crisis. But Mr Brown said the system had to be changed.

“This is the government’s opportunity to sort it out. It’s great that there are no business rates until next year but we can’t go back to the old system. We just can’t,” he said.

“If you go back to the old system, even more shops will go bust.”