FAREHAM’S branch of Beales has escaped inclusion on a list of stores which are to close within weeks.

Twelve branches of the department store chain – including the major store at its Bournemouth HQ – are to shut after its fall into administration three weeks ago.

The remaining branches are continuing to trade while a buyer is sought.

The branch in the former Marks and Spencer unit at Fareham Shopping Centre only opened last November. Beales bosses have said it was trading well and it was seen as a more sustainable model than the chain’s bigger stores.

A statement from administrator KPMG said: “The joint administrators of the Beales department store chain have confirmed that they remain in active discussions with interested parties regarding a going concern sale of a number of stores.

“Unfortunately, however, no offers have been received in respect of selling all 23 stores as a going concern. As a result, the joint administrators are now in the process of developing plans with store directors and management teams to implement the closure of 12 stores.

“It is anticipated that these stores will continue to trade, running closing down sales for around eight weeks. Employees across these stores will be retained to assist with trading over the weeks ahead, and the joint administrators and their teams will continue to work closely with staff during this period.

“There is currently no intention to implement closure plans for the remaining 11 stores, which will all continue to operate as usual until an outcome with regards to a sale of the business is clarified.”

The branches closing are: