Beales, one of the countries oldest department store chains, has gone into administration, putting jobs here in east Suffolk at risk. The company has a store in Beccles – and is also the owner of Palmers in Lowestoft and has had specialists appointed from KPMG, to oversee the administration process. The news follows weeks of speculation and also comes after what has been described as a “disappointing” period of Christmas trading. This combined with the difficult retail environment – with high rents, has also blamed for the downfall of the department store. Bournemouth based Beales said that gift vouchers, customers deposits, refunds and returns, will continue to be honoured. it has been reported that a slimmed-down version of Beales could yet emerge from the administration process.