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healsWestbourneGroveImpairment charges pushed designer furniture retailer Heal’s to a bigger deficit in 2013–14 ahead of its announced store closure and opening programme.


The retailer — backed by the billionaire Weston family that also owns Selfridges and Primark — saw pre-tax losses increase to £10.7m in the year to 13th September, £2.1m more than the prior year.


A £1.2m impairment charge, together with a doubling of interest on loans from parent companies, was behind the increase.


Sales growth was strong, with the premium furniture retailer seeing its top line rise by nearly 9 per cent to £25.5m year-on-year.


Heal’s announced the closure of its Kings Road store in London in February and its 14,000sqft Guildford store is also in the process of being shut.


The retailer will, however, this summer open a brand new Westbourne Grove store in the Queen’s Building, formerly an Art Deco cinema (pictured). In its accounts — signed off in January but only just lodged with the Companies Registrar — it hinted at the store changes to come.


It also said that following a strategic review, management believed that the future focus will be a greater online presence combined with limited showrooms to supplement the offering. Its review had already prompted a greater focus on furniture sales, at the expense of home accessories.


Heal’s other stores are its main flagship on Tottenham Court Road, a showroom in the Red Brick Mill complex in West Yorkshire and stores at Kingston-upon-Thames and Brighton.