Department store Beales has fallen into administration today after a crunch meeting about the future of the business failed to prevent collapse.

The meeting this morning opened the door to the appointment of KPMG as administrator, Sky News reported.

The administration of 140-year-old Beales puts around 1,300 full-time roles in jeopardy, as well as the future of 22 stores.

Beales owner Tony Brown, who led a management buyout last year, has worked “tirelessly” to secure a future for the retailer, one source told Sky.

However, the business has failed to recover from torrid trading after reporting widening losses of £3.1m in the year to March 2019, up from losses of £1.3m the previous year.

Beales is the latest department store group to hit problems over the past year. Debenhams fell into the hands of its lenders and went though administration, while trading at John Lewis has been under pressure.

Brown last week blamed Beales’ problems in part on a lack of support from local authorities over business rates.

He told the BBC: “At the moment, in my view, councils really don’t care.

“They get their business rates whether we’re there or not because the landlord pays if the store closes.”

Talks about a sale or refinancing of Beales have been taking place since late last year in an attempt to push through restructuring in harsh trading conditions.