Spalding department store Beales reported to be close to collapse
The owner of a Spalding department store is reported to be in danger of collapse.
Beales, which began trading in Bournemouth in 1881, said 22 stores and 1,000 jobs were at stake if it cannot find a buyer.
The firm is negotiating with its landlords to try to agree rent reductions.
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The BBC is also reporting that it is in talks with two potential buyers - a rival retailer and a venture capital investor.
Chief executive Tony Brown led a management buyout of the firm in 2018 and he is reportedly hoping to save the long-term future of the brand which has been on high streets for almost 140 years.
He has said "it's been one of the most challenging times for retail on record" adding that Christmas had not delivered what they had hoped to achieve in terms of sales.
Mr Brown is hopeful the company can be "restructured for a profitable future" but was unable to say which of the 22 branches were likely to be saved.
More by this authorSarah Cliss