SHOCKED workers at department store Arnotts were coming to terms with the revelation bankers are set to take control of the debt-ridden retailer.
As customers continued to stream into the Henry Street premises in Dublin, workers inside joined ranks and demanded the company guarantee their future employment.
A sales assistant with the iconic retailer for over 30 years spoke with anger about how standards at the store and its sister outlet, Boyers on North Earl Street, had fallen in recent years.
The north Dublin man blamed the bank takeover on an over-ambitious plan by Arnotts’ owners to expand during the boom.
The sales official, who did want to be named, said: “We all feel very disappointed. We knew the banks had a say in it for the past few months. We’re very shocked at its full takeover now.”
The sales assistant, who began selling ties and shirts with Arnotts when just 20 years of age, criticised the running of the store, adding: “It’s from the changes of management and the way it’s been run. It’s how they were buying up property.
“They had more interest in the property end than the retail end of it.”
Business at the north Dublin store started to change for the worse in the last eight years when owners began buying up nearby builders in Northern Quarter area. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. We fear what’s going to happen when the banks start running places because they can’t run their own places.”
Some elderly staff were worried about their pension funds, added the long-time serving sales assistant.
“Stock over the years has been reduced and reduced. They also made the sports department a quarter of the size it used to be. They lost business big time over that.
“They need to give staff on the ground more input into the company and hear what they say and not ignore them, people who have long years’ service there. And they shouldn’t be bringing people in from the outside, like consultants.”
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