Beales chairman Keith Edelman has stepped down from the struggling department store after five years in the role.

The retailer has begun the search for Edelman’s successor. He will stay at Beales until a replacement has been found and appointed.

Beales chief executive Michael Hitchcock said: “We would like to thank Keith for his counsel and for his contribution to the business over the last five years and particularly during the recent restructuring of the group’s finances. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

The departure of Edelman follows the exit of chief executive Tony Brown, who left to join fashion retailer Peacocks as managing director.

Hitchcock, who was drafted in last year initially as interim finance director following the departure of Ken Owst, has now taken the reins.

Beales made a £5.8m pre-tax loss in the 53 weeks to November 3, 2012 while like-for-likes fell 5.6% because of its overexposure to the electricals category. However, the retailer pulled off a refinancing earlier this year. It refinanced its debt with asset-backed lender Burdale, securing its funding for the next three years.