Irish News

Saturday 26 July 2014

Retail jobs saved after rent deals

Published 07/05/2013|15:01

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Kingfisher owns DIY giant B&Q

More than 750 jobs have been saved after two major retailers successfully struck cheaper rent deals.

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DIY giant B&Q and ladies fashion store Pamela Scott revealed they have both exited examinership with plans to stay in business.

David Fitzsimons, of Retail Excellence Ireland, said it was a good day for consumers and shop workers nationwide.

"Following on from the Pamela Scott news this morning, B&Q's successful exit from examinership sets a very interesting precedent for international retailers trading in Ireland," he said.

"The development is most interesting for international retailers with parent company guarantees as precedent has now been set indicating that leases can be renegotiated even with a parent company guarantee in place.

"I understand that many other international retailers trading in Ireland will now investigate using the examinership process as a means of escaping penal upward only rents."

B&Q said 640 jobs have been saved in eight of its stores after the High Court approved the Examiner's recommendation, which included renegotiating rents and a 2.4 million euro investment by parent company Kingfisher plc. However 47 posts were axed with the closure of its Waterford store, which ceased trading on Saturday.

Brian Mooney, chairman of B&Q Ireland, said: "B&Q Ireland employees have had a challenging three months, and so today's encouraging plan is a great relief.

"There is huge regret that the Waterford store was not viable but, for the rest of the business, we look confidently forward to a sustainable future. We are more committed than ever to our operations in Ireland, and our loyal customers and employees."

Elsewhere, joint receivers appointed to Xtra-vision confirmed 54 jobs will be lost when nine of its stores close. Another 58 workers will be axed when 11 shops close in Northern Ireland.

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