THE Waterstone's bookshop chain is to close two of its eight stores in Ireland at the end of the week, with the expected loss of 46 jobs.
The chain announced yesterday that it is to close 11 shops, including nine in the UK and its two shops at Dawson Street and the Jervis Centre in Dublin.
Waterstone's said the closures will not affect the company's remaining six stores in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
The closures follow the collapse of booksellers Hughes and Hughes just over a year ago.
The Dawson Street branch of Waterstone's has been in business for 24 years and has long been regarded by book lovers as the best bookshop in Dublin.
Among the staff who have worked there are many now famous writers, including John Boyne and Paul Murray.
According to a company announcement, the HMV Group, which owns both HMV and Waterstone's, made the decision to shut stores after a very tough sales performance over the Christmas period.
Head of communications for Waterstone's, Fiona Allen, said the company has entered into "consultation" with staff with the hopes of deploying some to other stores, but added that redundancies would be inevitable.
She said Hodges Figgis, which the company also owns, is unaffected by the move.