SuperValu stores close with loss of 98 jobs
SuperValu has announced the closure of two stores with the loss of almost 100 jobs.
Stores on Kennedy Avenue, Carlow, and in Marketplace, Clonmel, will cease trading on January 22 after making a loss for almost a decade.
The closures follow the announcement last week by analysts Kantor that SuperValu (formerly Superquinn) was the largest retail brand in Ireland.
SuperValu said the retail environment in both towns has been challenging for a number of years, with increased competition and a drop in footfall.
The company's managing director, Martin Kelleher, said: "It is important to note that this decision is by no means reflective of the quality of the work of our colleagues.
"We will now enter a consultation period with colleagues and provide out-placement support to assist them in finding alternative employment."
Mandate and Siptu trade unions said staff have been left devastated by the news.
Siptu organiser Derek Casserly said members are particularly disappointed at the timing of the announcement three weeks from Christmas.
"We will be meeting with the company, along with other trade unions, next week as part of the statutory 30-day consultation period and we will be trying to save as many jobs as possible through redeployment," he said.
Mandate's Bill Kelly claimed the closures are down to a lack of investment and a lack of disposable income for people in the local areas.
"The outcome, of course, will be that the whole region will suffer further as a result.
"These jobs were comparatively good retail jobs that provided workers with decent work and secure incomes.
"Unfortunately, there are very few alternatives at this moment in time, partly because the southeast of Ireland has become an unemployment black spot."