BEALES — La.
Beales has decided to sell off all of its luxury department stores and the upscale jewelry it sells, saying it can’t afford to continue as it continues to lose money as the economy struggles.
In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Beales Chief Financial Officer Joe Gannas said the stores, some of which are about 10 years old, are no longer profitable.
He also said the department store would close its Beales flagship store, and move into a new location in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Beals is one of the largest retailers in the state, with more than 2,300 stores.
Gannas did not disclose a price, but the stores are sold as a part of a sale.
The company’s shares fell $6.13, or 2.9 percent, to $7.65 in afternoon trading.
Beaks shares rose about 1.3 percent to $14.11.
Gail Beals, who owns the Beales brand, said in the letter that she was considering selling all of the company’s luxury stores and selling jewelry to a jewelry wholesaler.
She said she has not made a decision about selling Beals jewelry and was waiting to receive a final offer.
Bealls shares have dropped more than 60 percent over the past year, from a high of $26.60 a share in October, when the company had about 2,500 stores.
Gannases said in his letter that the company will sell some of its stores to a company it will name in the coming months.
The Beales store in St Paul will close and will be replaced by a store in Minneapolis, which will be called the Beale Collection.
The stores will be owned by a private company.
The Beales chain is one the largest in the U.S. with more stores than Macy’s, Sears, Gap and Target combined.
Beals said it will keep its existing inventory of jewelry and clothing.
The company said it is continuing to invest in its stores.