E Point Perfect

Department store Beales calls for support as energy bills triple

Beales energy costs Tony Brown
Beales sees energy costs triple says Tony Brown
// Beales boss Tony Brown says he only received news of the energy costs rise last week
// Brown calls for government to step in as retail sector rocked by soaring energy prices

Department store chain Beales is the latest retailer to warn that energy costs are spiralling upwards amid increasing industry concerns.

Energy bills at department store chain Beales have soared from £45,000 to £150,000, CEO Tony Brown told Drapers.

“This is the market we trade in now,” said Brown, who said that he was notified about the more than three-fold price increase last week.

Brown has called on the government to take steps to protect UK businesses.

“The government cannot keep its head in the sand – it needs to take affirmative action,” he said.

Beales collapsed into administration in January 2020 and has three stores in the UK and employs 200 staff.

READ MORE: Beales to reopen 38,000sq ft Merseyside store after administration

Inflation rose to 10.1% in the 12 months to July, up from 9.4% in June, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), heaping more misery on the sector.

A government spokesperson told Drapers: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, and while we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we’re supporting British businesses to navigate the months ahead.

“We’ve cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of businesses by increasing the Employment Allowance which reduces national insurance contributions and slashing fuel duty. We’ve also introduced a 50% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and put the brakes on bill increases by freezing the business rates multiplier, worth £4.6 billion over the next five years.”

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