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DRAGONS' Den star Niall O'Farrell has closed a branch of his Blacktie chain as part of a restructuring of the business.

It comes after Mr O'Farrell stepped down following four years as a judge on the RTE series. The rest of the chain, which includes branches across Dublin and in Limerick and Waterford, is not affected by the move to close the Cork branch.

The suit-hire outlet on Cork's Patrick's Street was losing money, Mr O'Farrell stated. The wider Blacktie chain has returned to profit, he said.

Blacktie is in talks to re-establish a presence in Cork through a franchising arrangement.

That is likely to mean setting up as a concession in an independent menswear store rather than as a stand-alone shop, Mr O'Farrell said. Mr O'Farrell founded the Blacktie business in 1985 when he was just 22. He has extensive property interests in Ireland and Britain.

He was also an active investor on Dragons' Den, putting money into ventures that included luxury jewellery brand Button & Co Goldsmiths.


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