225 jobs lost as book retailer goes into receivership

ONE of the country’s largest bookshop chains, Hughes and Hughes, has gone into receivership, with the loss of 225 jobs.

Hughes and Hughes, which has been operating in Ireland for 26 years, blamed the move on collapsing consumer demand.

Commenting last night the group’s management said in a statement that until the downturn “our business had continued to grow”. But a series of factors in a short time frame and largely outside the group’s control “has ultimately led to receivership as being the only appropriate action left to the company”.

Meanwhile, 14 high street clothes shops are to shut and 80 jobs are under threat after a leading retail firm warned it was in financial trouble.

Bestseller (Retail) Ireland had an examiner appointed by the High Court yesterday to help keep it in business.

The holding company sells clothes and accessories under four brand names – Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Only and Name It.

Lucy O’Mahoney, Bestseller (Retail) Ireland general manager, said the business had been hit by two very tough years.

“Our trading position has been further undermined by the steady increase in rents across all of our stores, which has seen property costs rise to unsustainable levels.”

Ms O’Mahoney said the company will negotiate with landlords during the examinership. But she added the process will put the business back on a solid platform.

Bestseller (Retail) Ireland is owned by Danish firm Bestseller A/S and has been trading in Ireland since 1991. It employs 270 staff across 36 outlets here.

The 14 stores being closed are the worst performing – Vero Moda in Swords, Carlow, Waterford, Sligo, Blackpool and Douglas in Cork, Charlestown, Athlone, Drogheda, Navan; Jack & Jones in Swords, Drogheda, Athlone; and Name It in Charlestown.

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