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Fears for 80 jobs in stores axe

Fourteen main street clothes shops are to shut and 80 jobs are under threat after a leading retail firm warned it was in financial trouble.

Bestseller (Retail) Ireland has had an examiner appointed by the High Court to help keep it in business.

The holding company sells clothes and accessories under four brand names -- Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Only and Name It.

Lucy O'Mahoney, Bestseller (Retail) Ireland general manager, said the business had been hit by two very tough years.

"Along with the rest of the retail sector, we have experienced a very challenging trading environment in the last two years," she said.

Bestseller (Retail) Ireland is wholly owned by Danish firm Bestseller A/S and has been trading in Ireland since 1991. It employs 270 staff across 36 outlets in Ireland.

The stores being closed are the worst performing -- Vero Moda in Swords, Carlow, Waterford, Sligo, Blackpool and Douglas, Co Cork, Charlestown, Athlone, Drogheda, Navan; Jack & Jones in Swords, Drogheda, Athlone; and Name It in Charlestown.