Sunday 8 December 2019

Video: B&Q’s troubled Irish arm seeks examinership but insists it’s business as usual

Donal O’Donovan

DIY chain B&Q Ireland has become the latest retailer to fall victim to the recession after seeking Examinership this afternoon.

Gift vouchers will be honoured, orders will continue to be filled and almost 700 staff will continue being paid, the company said.

Accountant Declan McDonald of PWC was been appointed interim examiner this afternoon, after the Irish unit of UK based Kingfisher Group told the High Court it cannot meet all of its debts.

Two of the stores - in Athlone and Waterford - are to be closed as part of cost-cutting proposals, with a consequent loss of jobs.

The company employs 690 people, made up of 190 full time positions and 500 part-time jobs, in those two stores and other stores in Cork, Galway, Liffey Valley, Limerick, Naas, Swords and Tallaght.

The company believes seven stores could be viable if rents are substantially cut and other cost-cutting measures are implemented. It is paying some €11.6m rent for the stores and has been advised that is about €5.8m above open market rents.

Pre-paid goods and services, including kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms and their installation will be honoured, the company said.

Gift vouchers and credit notes will still be accepted in stores, it said.

The examinership process is designed to facilitate the survival of the company which has been impacted by the recession and in particular by the decline in consumer spending in the housing sector.

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