Business Irish

Monday 23 April 2018

Clerys liquidators confirmed as pop-up shop sells off stock

Shoppers at the pop-up opened by the owner of the Best menswear concession formerly based in Clerys
Shoppers at the pop-up opened by the owner of the Best menswear concession formerly based in Clerys

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ryan Nugent

The High Court has confirmed the appointment of joint liquidators to the company that formerly operated Clerys department store.

Mr Justice Brian Cregan confirmed the appointment of insolvency practitioners Eamon Richardson and Kieran Wallace of KPMG as joint liquidators of OCS Operations Ltd, which operated Clerys since 2012.

The court confirmation came as shoppers flocked to a pop-up shop opened on Dublin's Parnell Street with unsold stock from a former menswear concession in Clerys.

The liquidators said in a report to the court that they intend to conduct a "comprehensive investigation" into a number of issues of concern raised by creditors and some of the 50 concession holders at the store.

Paul Gallagher SC, for the liquidators, said these matters of concern include payments and transactions with companies associated with OCS Operations Ltd in the lead up to the liquidation.

They also concern recent payments from the firm's bank account and the application of the proceeds of an insurance claim made following flooding at the store in 2012.

The conduct of all those who were directors of the firm in the 12 months before the winding-up application was made will also be investigated.

Counsel said a creditor's meeting will take place sometime in August.

The liquidators were appointed on a provisional basis in June by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, after the court was told the company was balance-sheet insolvent. The iconic store then closed with the loss of over 400 jobs.

Counsel for the liquidator said all redundancy payments will be paid to the employees directly by the Department of Social Protection within six weeks.

Over the next 10 weeks, the liquidators will, after deducting the appropriate taxes, issue employees with cheques for arrears of wages, holiday pay and minimum notice.

The company's creditors include inter-company loans of €5.8m owed to other firms in the OCS group of companies.

Meanwhile, a new pop-up shop, run by the owner of the former Best menswear concession at Clerys, has opened with stock being sold at a discount.

Owner David Jones said he had no option but to open the shop on a temporary basis to recoup some of the money lost from the closure.

"It's not a Best store, it's basically the Clerys menswear department store. It's just a matter of selling off the a significant loss," he said.

Irish Independent

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