... but new owners will have to get their hands dirty, says Ben Dunne

Clodagh Sheehy

Former retailer Ben Dunne (inset) has advice for the new owners of Clerys: "You have to get down on the shop floor, work at the coalface, talk to the customers and find out what they want."

As a former director of a family business, he says it is vital to have retailers in charge, pointing to the demise of several family dynasties in the past "like Arnotts, Roches Stores, Superquinn and now Clerys; it's terrible".

Businesses run into trouble "because of inside weaknesses. I don't know what these were in the case of Clerys, but it wasn't being run by retailers."

Mr Dunne says he takes hope from the fact that venture capitalists have decided to invest in the store.

"The people buying Clerys would have done their homework. They will be confident they can make money. They have got a plan".

He did not agree that retailing in O'Connell Street was a thing of the past. "Look at Penneys just across the road from Clerys. They're doing a lot of business."