Beales Department Stores are based in Bournemouth, where the company began trading in 1881.  That year, John Elmes Beale (1847-1928) opened his Fancy Fair and Oriental House in Old Christchurch Road, selling wares that reflected the growing enthusiasm for Chinese and Japanese design.  Born near Weymouth, J E Beale became a significant figure in the Bournemouth community, serving as Mayor for three years between 1902 and 1904.


Beales remained a family business throughout the 20th century.  J E Beale was succeeded by his son Bennett Beale and then by his grandson Frank, who after university at Oxford and LSE trained at Macy’s in New York.  The original store in Bournemouth was bombed in the Second World War, but the Beales family developed a flagship store on the same site.  By the late 1960s, the business had extended its reach to a number of towns in the south of England.   Frank Beale died in 2001.


Frank was succeeded in the 1980s by Nigel Beale, the great-grandson of the founder, who remains honorary president of the company.  In 1995, the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and embarked on further store expansion.  Nigel retired and Beales came under professional management.  By 2010, the group had over a dozen stores, but the collapse of the banking sector and the recession that followed meant that it was financially overstretched.


To overcome these pressures, in 2011 the management acquired a group of eighteen department stores owned by the Anglia Retail Cooperative Society (ARCS).  These stores, located mainly in the East Midlands and East Anglia, gave the group critical mass and a new platform for the future.   Panther Securities plc, under its chairman Andrew Perloff, bought shares and preference shares in the group, and became landlord of a number of ARCS stores, now trading under the Beales name.


In 2015, Andrew Perloff consolidated his interest in the Beales group.  His family interests formed a company English Rose Enterprises Limited, which made a successful offer to acquire Beales in early 2015.  Tony Brown, who was the chief executive from 2008-13 has returned to the position. The business focus will be on returning to profit and a huge push on understanding our customers.   Andrew Perloff and his nephew and finance director Simon Peters sit as non-executive directors on the board.


Under its new ownership, Beales is returning to its philosophy as a family department store group offering fine brands and products at attractive prices, with loyal and committed staff.   Its return to traditional values is encapsulated in the new “Back to Beales” campaign.  “Back to Beales” invites our customers to come back to our special shopping experience.  Already, some 450,000 are doing so, as members of our Love Rewards loyalty card scheme.


To apply for your own Love Rewards card, please click here.