£7.5m Westgate buy-out

A DEAL forming one of the largest department store groups in the UK is hoped to improve job security and increase employment options in Skegness.

JE Beale is taking over Westgate department stores from current owners Anglia Co-operative Society, involving 19 stores nationally including one on Lumley Road, Skegness.

Anglia Co-operative chief executive John Chillcott said: “In difficult times the society is pleased to have secured the future of the Westgate Department stores and anticipates minimal disruption and change for customers both during and after the transaction.”

“Beales are a long-established department store operator and combining the respective store portfolios into one enlarged group makes strong commercial sense for both parties and improves job security and opportunities for the 900 staff employed - including the 35 people employed at Skegness.”

The deal is likely to be completed by the end of May.

Anglia Co-operative members will still be able to earn points and redeem dividend at Westgate stores and Anglia will continue to operate the furniture, travel, optical and hairdressing departments within the stores.