Marks & Spencer announces store closures

M&S has announced that it is to close four stores with the loss of 180 jobs along with plans for a new flagship store in Limerick creating 250 jobs
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180 jobs to go with the closure of four stores, 250 to be created in new Limerick flagship store



7 August 2013

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Marks & Spencer has announced that following a strategic store review in the Republic of Ireland, it will close four of its stores in the coming weeks. The stores to close will be M&S Mullingar; M&S Tallaght; M&S Simply Food, Dun Laoghaire and M&S Simply Food, Naas. The closures will result in the loss of 180 jobs. The four stores are closed today (Wednesday) but will re-open and continue trading until 17 August. The company says that employees will be supported fully during this process and unions will be fully engaged with regards to the redundancy terms and conditions.

The company also announced plans for a new flagship store in the west of the country. The Limerick M&S store will be a 72,000 sq ft flagship store that will anchor the proposed new Horizon Mall (formerly Parkway Valley) that is subject to planning consent. Heads of terms have been agreed and subject to completion the store will open in autumn 2016, creating 250 new jobs for the area.

Following the store review, plans are also underway for the repositioning of the Grafton Street M&S store as a regional centre that will showcase the latest in M&S thinking across store format, products and services. Marks & Spencer says it will continue to invest in its remaining portfolio and, in line with its plans to refresh and modernise its stores, M&S will also be updating a number of existing stores in the Republic of Ireland.

Jonathan Glenister, head of M&S Ireland said: "M&S remains 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 Republic of Ireland 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. We have carried out a strategic store review and it is with regret that we are now closing four unprofitable stores.

"Our first duty is to our affected store teams and we have spoken to them directly. We will now do all that we can to help them through the coming weeks and support them with their future employment needs. We are now closely engaging with our union officials from Mandate and SIPTU on all matters arising.

"Despite taking this difficult business decision, we are very proud of our Irish business and will continue to invest in it for the future. We hope that the news of a new flagship store for Limerick and an investment in our remaining estate will be welcomed by our customers and seen as a confirmation of our commitment to the Republic of Ireland."



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