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Changing styles leave Tie Rack facing closure

WEARING a tie is no longer a 'must' in many offices and changing fashions have sounded the death knell for a once popular shop.

Tie Rack will shut its flagship Dublin store in the St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre on December 27, the Herald has learned.

It also has two stores in Dublin Airport, which will close at the end of January.

The firm has five staff in its St Stephen's Green branch, and 14 workers in Dublin Airport.

The slow demise of the necktie, coupled with other fashion changes, has hit the company's stores here hard, a spokesman explained.

The chain, which was founded more than 30 years ago, has also announced it is to close all 44 of its shops in the UK. "I can confirm that we're pulling out of the Irish market, the business has been in terminal decline for some time now," the spokesman said.

"All our Irish staff have been informed of our decision. We have launched a closing-down sale before withdrawing from the Irish market for good.


"Fewer men are wearing ties and people's purchasing habits have changed. They're now going to department stores to buy a suit, or a suit and a tie, all- in-one, in a single shop."

Tie Rack was founded in 1981 by South African shoe-bar owner Roy Bishko. The firm reached its peak in 1998, when it had more than 450 shops in 31 countries, including the US.

Although Tie Rack was losing £7m (€8.3m) a year, the firm will honour valid gift cards and vouchers before closing.

Sarah Tighe-Jordan, an image consultant based in Dublin, said the collar and tie look had fallen behind the more relaxed open-neck shirt.

While the lack of a tie in certain formal occasions was once seen as disrespectful, this is no longer the case, she claimed.

"They are not viewed as essential anymore, and there have been changing trends in men's fashion," she added.

Ms Tighe-Jordan also claimed those men sticking to the traditional look had a larger number of shops to choose from. "There are still those who are into appearance, but shops like Top Shop are more affordable," she said.