Free £200 gift vouchers as Mersey dept store reopens

In March 2020 the Beales department store chain collapsed into administration but it will reopen on Merseyside this week with free gift vouchers for the first shoppers. Andrew Brown reports

Interior of the reopened Beales store in Southport. Picture by Andrew Brown Media


Free gift vouchers worth up to £200 will be given out to the first 150 shoppers through the door of the reopened Beales department store in Southport this week.

At 9.30am on Thursday, August 12, the store will reopen its doors on Lord Street following an £800,000 investment by Tony Brown, the former CEO of the original Beales chain which collapsed into administration in March 2020. At the time it operated 26 outlets.

Last year, Mr Brown relaunched the Beales brand with a new start in Poole in Dorset, followed by Peterborough earlier this year. Southport is his third store and the venture will see the creation of 40 new jobs.

And the entrepreneur has revealed his strong local links and passion for the area.  He spent part of his childhood in Litherland, while his professional career has seen him overseeing stores in Southport for the past 20 years.

“I have got a real connection with this area,” he said. “I really love the place, and always have done.That is one of the many reasons why we wanted to invest here and to reinvigorate this area.

“My father and his family were from Litherland, and I remember going to school at Hatton Hill Primary School in Litherland back in the 1970s, after Dad left the RAF. My grandad was a docker in Liverpool. He was a season ticket holder at Liverpool FC. I remember my Nan and her family kept pigeons. We used to love going there to see my grandparents.

“Even though I am a Southerner now, I still feel like a local here.”

Beales department store is reopening in Southport. Picture by Andrew Brown Media
Tony Brown
Tony Brown has reopened Beales in Southport. Picture by Andrew Brown Media


A Beales store previously operated on the same site in Southport, before closing in March last year as the pandemic hit the UK and the chain went into administration. The Beales brand is now reborn, owned by New Start 2020 and headed up by Mr Brown.

Before Beales, he was a retail director for BHS, which at the time had a department store on Chapel Street in Southport. He is delighted to be back in the town.  He added: “I have had a retail connection to Southport for 20 years now, with both BHS and Beales.

“This store on Lord Street was one of my favourite stores under the old Beales brand. This is a new concept we are launching here in Southport now, which will be 90% concessions. We are very excited about some of the brands coming in.

“I honestly believe that customers want a local department store here in Southport.  Thanks to all the appeals through Stand Up For Southport and Southport BID, we now have seven great local businesses on board, and also had a lot more than that contacting us who were keen to get involved too.”

The new local concessions include the new ‘Remedy at Beales’ cafe on the ground floor, with views into Wayfarers Arcade, with a Molloys furniture concession on the third floor, and many others besides.

The free vouchers that will be given out to the first 150 people through the door will be for £5, £10, £25, £50 and £200. They can be used throughout the store but must be spent on the opening day.

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