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Superquinn and the strangulation of Ireland's high-street retailers

ONE of the oldest and best known Irish grocery retailers went into receivership with debts of €400m, mainly related to property loans.

Musgrave then bought Superquinn in September, but many suppliers to the supermarket were left out of pocket.

Founded by Feargal Quinn, Superquinn had initially focused mainly on the higher end of the market -- but as recession bedded in, the bulk of its customers shifted towards discount and cheaper retailers.

Quinn sold it in 2005 for a reported €450m to Select Retail Holdings, backed by property dealers David Courtney, Bernard McNamara and Gerry O'Reilly.

Generally, 2011 was a pretty dreadful year for the retail, with the high streets emptying out and deep discounting establishing itself as a regular feature in many stores. The Government U-turn on abolishing upward-only rent reviews won't help.

Iconic department store Clerys warned that sales had plummeted and losses were mounting and its future was uncertain if the economy didn't improve.

Sunday Independent