Dunnes Stores Gorey closes following order to close side door
25 May 2015 | 0
It is understood the decision to immediately close the Gorey branch of Dunnes Stores last week, is linked to an injunction granted to the receivers who run the Gorey Shopping Centre, where Dunnes is the anchor tenant.
Receivers Paul McCann and Stephen Tennant of Grant Thornton were appointed by AIB to run the centre and five other shopping centres. According to media reports, they are planning to shortly sell all six shopping centres to US investment fund Davidson Kempner.
While Dunnes Stores has not provided an explanation for the sudden closure, other tenants of the Gorey Shopping Centre report receiving a letter from Bannon Property Consultants in Dublin.
The letter said Dunnes committed “a clear breach of their lease obligations” by opening a “door leading directly to the surface car park last November”. This action meant Dunnes’ customers could bypass the smaller traders based at the mall.
Bannons’ letter added: “Dunnes Stores was asked to close the door on numerous occasions but refused to engage on the issue. To protect the business of the small traders on the mall the receiver sought an injunction to force Dunnes Stores to close the door to the surface car park, and that injunction was granted yesterday pending a formal arbitration hearing.
“Following the court’s decision, Dunnes Stores has taken the decision to close the store with immediate effect. We appreciate how serious this issue is for all involved and will keep you informed of progress.”
Mandate trade union general secretary John Douglas has condemned the actions of Dunnes’ management, claiming they are “playing games with people’s lives over a side entrance to the business”.
Staff met to discuss the closure at the Amber Springs Hotel in Gorey at 6pm on Friday night. Although the Gorey branch remains closed, Dunnes Stores’ staff who are Mandate members decided to go to work as rostered over the weekend. Staff said they would attempt to receive an explanation from local management and if that was not forthcoming, they would meet again today (Monday) to decide on their next move.
Meanwhile, Gorey Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dick White has called for the store to be reopened, describing it as “an important part of the fabric of our business community”.
Dunnes Stores has not issued a comment on the closure.