FEARS are growing for jobs in shoe retailer Barratts with six stores due to close in Ireland over the next week.
Signs advertised up to 60pc off merchandise in 'closing down' sales at the retailer's stores on Dublin's Grafton Street and Henry Street.
The British-owned firm that operates the business went into administration in November, and has been trying to find a buyer for the chain.
The company has 15 shops in Ireland, including outlets in Dublin, Carlow, Cork, Newbridge, Athlone, Letterkenny and Kilkenny, and employs around 75 people. It also has 14 shops in Northern Ireland.
UK administrators Duff & Phelps confirmed to the Irish Independent that six stores would be closing this week in Ireland and a further five in Northern Ireland -- but did not specify which ones.
"We have to date been unable to find a buyer for the business and assets as a going concern. I can confirm we are still in discussions with a party over certain stores," said the spokesman.
It is the third time the beleaguered chain has been placed in administration in recent years.
The group employs 1,035 staff in both the UK and Ireland -- with half working part-time.
Richard Guiney, from the Dublin City Business Improvement District, said the closure of any significant business was unwelcome, but on a positive note, he pointed out the 'vacant holes' on the high streets had been dropping.
"We have been moving in the right direction. It is below 10pc for the first time since we started collecting data in 2009," said Mr Guiney.