Monday 19 February 2018

Dunnes shuts store after a row over door to car park

Dunne Stores, Gorey Shopping Centre closed until further notice; sign on the store window.
Dunne Stores, Gorey Shopping Centre closed until further notice; sign on the store window.
Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen

Dunnes Stores closed an outlet after a row over an access door, leaving more than 110 staff members in limbo.

The Irish retail giant shut up shop in Gorey on Thursday night without any warning to staff or customers.

A sign was placed on the door saying the store would close with immediate effect.

It is understood that the company has been at loggerheads with management in Gorey Shopping Centre, where Dunnes Stores was the anchor store since last November.

Both parties had been embroiled in a bitter row after the supermarket opened a doorway directly into their store from the carpark - bypassing the main shopping centre entrance.

In a letter to other tenants at the centre, managing agents Bannon Property Consultants said the closure was a result of a court injunction forcing Dunnes to close the door.

"As you are aware, Dunnes Stores opened a door leading directly to the surface car park last November," read the letter.

"The net effect of opening the door was that customers could bypass the smaller traders on the mall and it was a clear breach of the lease obligations."

"To protect the business of the smaller traders in the mall the Receiver (Grant Thornton) sought an injunction to force Dunnes Stores to close the door.

"An injunction was granted on Thursday, May 21, pending a formal arbitration hearing.

"Following the court's decision, Dunnes Stores have taken the decision to close the store with immediate effect"

Mandate Trade Union, who represent a large swathe of the Dunnes Stores workforce, have condemned in "the strongest possible terms" the closure of the outlet after what they call a "petty dispute".

Mandate general secretary John Douglas said : "There are 100 families in Wexford who have no idea whether they'll have a job next week or not.

"The anxiety, uncertainty and stress this has caused those 100 workers in Gorey is unnecessary and unacceptable."

One worker, who did not want to be named, told the Irish Independent that management told everyone that "their jobs were safe".

"Dunnes have put a lot of money into this store recently. This was one of their better and more successful outlets."

Wexford County Council chairperson Malcolm Byrne said both parties need to sit around the table to resolve this issue.

Dunnes Stores declined to comment.

Irish Independent

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