Dublin department store Boyers will shut its doors for good at the start of next year with the loss of up to 83 jobs.
Its owners, Fitzwilliam Finance Partners, which in recent days completed the acquisition of much larger northside rival Arnotts, had been seeking a management company for Boyers for some time.
But Fitzwilliam Finance, which is owned by solicitor and businessman Noel Smyth, said yesterday that it had had no success in attracting an operating company and would begin an “orderly wind down” of Boyers.
It said it told Boyers staff, which includes 48 people that Boyers directly employs and a further 30 to 35 people at its concessionaires, at an early stage to avoid as much disruption as possible.
That appears to be a reference to the furore created when Clerys on Dublin’s O’Connell St was suddenly shut earlier this summer with little or no warning given to staff.
“While the closure will not take place until January 31, 2016, over the coming days, meetings and discussions will commence with suppliers, concessions and business partners to look at minimising the impact for all concerned,” a spokesman for Fitzwilliam Finance said.
“To facilitate the payment of agreed redundancy terms to impacted staff, a separate bank account will be established in the joint names of Fitzwilliam Finance Partners and Mandate Trade Union into which funds sufficient to cover all claims for redundancy can and will be met.
“This account will be ring-fenced exclusively for that purpose,” the spokesman said.
Fitzwilliam Finance first bought a stake in rival Arnotts Group over 18 months ago and signed off on the deal last Friday.
Mr Smyth said: “The decision to close Boyers early next year is very regrettable but unfortunately, was unavoidable. We are absolutely committed to dealing with this development in a sensitive and respectful manner for all those concerned.
“We are also committed to paying impacted colleagues the redundancy terms agreed with their union representatives and have purposefully allowed for a significant time period between now and the end of January next year for our concession partners and suppliers to manage their business affairs in an orderly fashion.”
He added: “I’d like to pay particular tribute to management and staff and to the store’s customer base for their support and loyalty, and I would like to re-emphasise our commitment to achieving an orderly wind-down of the business for all stakeholders.”
The company stressed that the closure of Boyers will not affect operations at Arnotts department store which will continue to trade as normal.
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