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Electronics retailer Peats closes down after 80 years in business in Dublin

ONE of Ireland's best known electronics retailers has shut down after nearly 80 years in business, with the loss of 75 jobs, it announced tonight.

Family-owned Peats World of Electronics said a liquidator would be appointed to the company.

In a statement tonight, chairman Ben Peat said staff were told at the flagship shop on Parnell Street in Dublin that "current financial constraints" meant it could no longer continue trading.

The 11 Peats stores around Dublin closed with immediate effect.

Mr Peat said the decision was taken "with deep sadness and regret".

The closures were blamed on the recession, high property rental costs and a changing marketplace in which online shopping was eating into high street retailing.

"The business generated 60pc of its annual sales in the period November to January and that a summer's spend could not carry the business, to allow it to continue," said Mr Peat.

"It is evident in our experience that consumers have little discretionary spend at this time and sales volumes are up to 50pc down on peak 2007 spend, while in parallel it has not been possible to achieve appropriate rental adjustment to enable a profit margin to be achieved to sustain business viability.

"The sector in which we operate has been disproportionately affected by the downturn, if we don't close now our capacity to settle our affairs to best effect will only further deteriorate."

Mr Peat said staff will be paid their entitlements and redundancy due in full.

Peats began life in Parnell Street in 1934 when Brigit and William Peat set up shop to sell wet cell batteries, bicycles, furniture and prams, according to the company.

All six of their children joined the business, including their youngest son Ben Peat, the current chairman.

As well as Parnell Street, Peats had outlets at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, College Green, Rathmines, Swords and in the Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge.

It also operated a number of Sony Centre shops under the Sony Centre franchise.