Beales is set to buy 19 department stores from the Anglia Co-op.

Beales, the independent department store chain, has acquired 19 stores from Anglia Regional Co-operative Society. The £7.5m deal, is believed to have been financed by Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, who will remain shareholders in the department store business via preference shares.

Beales is believed to be about to exchange on the deal, which will see its store numbers reach 32.

The deal could give the department store a stronghold over market towns including Chipping Norton, King’s Lynn and Skipton.

Beales has been on the expansion trail over the previous year, when it acquired two stores in Hexham in June and Rochdale in September. The Rochdale Westgate department store was acquired in August from Anglia Regional Co-operative Society for £300,000. The Hexham store, Robbs of Hexham, was bought in June for £250,000.

Chief executive Tony Brown has previously said that the business’ optimum number of stores would be 35, a number reached almost overnight with the current acquisition.

Last month, the retailer said that gross sales in the 19 weeks to March 12, including concessions and the two new stores acquired in 2010, rose 5.9% compared to a year ago. Like-for-likes fell 6.2%.

Gross sales in the six weeks since January 29 – not including the adverse impact of the snowy weather over the Christmas period - were up 9.4% up on the previous year, with like-for-like sales were 4.7% down. 

The stores are in the following locations:

  • Abingdon
  • Beccles
  • Bishop Auckland
  • Chipping Norton
  • Cinderford
  • Diss
  • Harrogate
  • Keighley
  • Kings Lynn
  • Lowestoft
  • Mansfield
  • Peterborough
  • Redcar
  • Saffron Walden
  • Skegness
  • Skipton
  • Spalding
  • St Neots
  • Wisbech