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One of Britain’s oldest department stores has warned that it could collapse into administration. 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 and agree rent reductions. It is also in talks with two potential buyers – a rival retailer and a venture capital investor, the BBC understands. Chief Executive Tony Brown led a management buyout of the firm in 2018.

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