Jean Scene folds ahead of creditors' meeting
THE Jean Scene, which once claimed to be the country's largest jeans retailer, pulled down the shutters on its network of Irish stores yesterday.
The sudden closures came after The Jean Scene (Ireland) advertised plans to wind itself up at a creditors' meeting next Friday.
The Jean Scene had 30 Irish stores at its peak. It opened outlets in prime sites like Dublin Airport and retail parks throughout the country.
Efforts to reach Jean Scene director Michael Conroy were unsuccessful, but well-placed sources said the number of stores had been pared back considerably in more recent times.
The company remained a substantial employer, however, with an average of 300 workers on the books at the end of January 2009. The business is owned by brothers Raju and Sunny Tulli, who also have the Irish operations of Pizza Hut, KFC and Costa Coffee.
The last accounts for The Jean Scene show turnover fell by €4m to just over €20m in the year to January 2009, while the company swung to a loss of almost €500,000.
Creditors at the end of the year were owed almost €6.5m, including €2m owed to trade credits, €1.4m owed in tax and social welfare and €1m of bank loans, secured against various mortgages and a €500,000 personal guarantee. It was also committed to "non-cancellable" annual leases costing more than €4.4m, which were due to run until at least 2014.
One of its most high-profile stores is in Dublin's Jervis Centre, which is already looking for a new tenant to fill 55,000sq ft of the 90,000sq ft site soon to be vacated by department store Arnotts. The creditors' meeting will be held next Friday morning in the Holiday Inn on Dublin's Pearse Street.