Following a strategic store review, British high street retailer Marks & Spencer is to close four of its stores in the Republic of Ireland in the coming weeks resulting in 180 redundancies, the company has confirmed in a statement issued by its PR agency, WHPR. The four stores which are due to close their doors are M&S Mullingar; M&S Tallaght; M&S Simply Food in Dun Laoghaire and M&S Simply Food in Naas, Co Kildare.
Food accounts for 55 per cent of sales, with the remainder in clothes, an area which has been troubled.
A new 72,00 sq ft flagship store is proposed for Limerick. Heads of terms have been agreed and, subject to completion of contracts, the store is due to open in the Horizon Mall in 2016, creating 250 new jobs. The rest of the M&S store chain will be invested in, including a repositioning of the Grafton Street store as an M&S regional centre. Jonathan Glenister, head of M&S Ireland said, said they remain fully committed to its Irish business.
“We have traded here for the last 35 years, employ around 2,800 people and have extraordinarily loyal Irish customers, but the last few years have been very challenging. During this time our business has been under continuous review and we have made savings and found efficiencies wherever possible. However, the retail sector outlook has not improved and we have to act now to protect the long term good of the company.”