Independent department store Beales has opened a new store in the Scottish city of Perth, breathing new life into the area.
The store, which opened on St John Street yesterday, replaces the old McEwens department store, which closed unexpectedly 18 months ago after nearly 150 years of trading.
Administrators confirmed the end of the company in March 2016, resulting in the loss of more than 100 jobs.
The opening marks Beales’ first foray into Scotland and comes less than two months after chief executive Tony Brown struck a deal with Perth & Kinross Council to acquire the store.
An army of employees, including lingerie, swimwear and nightwear buyer Kevin O’Neill, worked around the clock to get the store ready in time for the launch.
Confirming the news, Brown said: “Beales is the largest independent market town department store group in the United Kingdom, owned by Andrew Perloff and his family interests. Based in Bournemouth we operate from 20 department stores, we are delighted to welcome our Perth store, formerly McEwens, to the Beales family.”
The Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, Councillor Ian Campbell said: “This is fantastic news for the city of Perth and the surrounding area. The former McEwens building is a flagship site in the city centre, and it will be great to see it coming back into use, particularly as home to an established independent business.
“The decision by Beales to make Perth the location for their first Scottish store is a ringing endorsement of our city as a place for business investment and growth.”