Beales, the department store chain that recently entered administration, is now facing a staggering debt of £17.6 million. KPMG, the appointed administrator, has revealed that the company owes money to various fashion concessions, suppliers, staff, and store landlords, creating uncertainty regarding when and how much the creditors will be able to recover in payments. The closure of Beales’ remaining stores was expedited due to the significant disruption caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the notable creditors, well-known brands such as Barbour and Craghoppers are owed over £200,000 each, while Phase Eight and Regatta are owed over £100,000 each. Arcadia’s Dorothy Perkins, TFG’s Hobbs, and Tommy Hilfiger are also among the creditors, with each of them being owed over £70,000. Additionally, Oasis is owed just under £64,000, and Hotter Shoes is owed over £57,000.

The financial struggles for Beales initially began earlier this year, primarily due to poor Christmas trading and the burden of high business rates. The company had been paying more than £1 million in business rates than what was warranted, ultimately serving as the final blow to its survival. Even if Beales had managed to secure a buyer before entering administration, the impact of the coronavirus shutdown would have made it highly unlikely for the chain to continue its operations. This echoes the predicament faced by various businesses, including stronger ones, who are resorting to desperate measures to preserve cash and endure the economic lockdown period. In fact, it is anticipated that some businesses may not be able to reopen at all once the restrictions are lifted.

Useful links:
– For more information on business administration and its implications, visit this official guide.
– To explore the impact of COVID-19 on the retail industry, check out this insightful analysis.