Argos has closed the last 30 remaining stores in the Republic of Ireland following substantial losses and a business review.
As reported in The Irish Times, Argos stores around the country closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 24th June, as the retailer ceased its operations in the Republic of Ireland.
Argos announced in January that it would be closing all of its 34 stores in the region. In a statement on Friday, the company said it arrived at the decision to leave the Republic of Ireland following a long period of careful consideration and a thorough review of its business and operations in the country.
The statement added: “Since it first arrived there, Argos has operated on a bespoke model that is significantly different from its wider UK operation. This week’s closures only relate to Argos stores in the Republic of Ireland.”
Latest financial statements filed by the group’s Irish arm, Argos Distributors (Ireland) Ltd, showed that in the year to March 5th 2022, the company had an operating loss of €12.6m, and had seen sales decrease by just over 21% on the previous year.
Up to 580 staff have been affected by the store closures; those eligible will be offered an enhanced redundancy package which has been accepted by Mandate, the recognised trade union representing retail workers in Ireland. Staff are expected to receive an additional four weeks’ pay per year of service, on top of statutory redundancy requirements, and staff not eligible for redundancy under Irish law will be offered a one-off goodwill payment. Argos has also promised to provide a programme of recruitment upskilling and other support for employees.
Michael Meegan, divisional organiser with Mandate, said: “The majority of staff in Argos were long-serving, loyal staff who have been serving Argos since the early 90s when it first came into Ireland. They have skills that will be easily employable in other areas of retail, and a lot of them I know have applied for jobs and will be getting jobs as they complete their redundancy sign-off.”
Andy McClelland, operations manager at Argos Ireland, said the company “did not make this decision lightly” and thanked staff, as well as everyone who has supported operations in the Republic of Ireland over the past 25 years.