Well-known Dundalk department store to close

Houstons store on Clanbrassil Street, Dundalk. Photo: Aidan Dullaghan/Newspics

Margaret RoddyThe Argus

One of Dundalk’s best known ladies fashion and homewares stores, Houstons in Clanbrassil Street, is to close

Managing Director John Houston told The Argus “It is with huge sadness we have had to make the difficult decision to close our store in Dundalk."

He cited a “combination of many recent economic factors” for the company’s decision to close the landmark store which has traded in Dundalk since the mid-mid-nineties.

“Since Brexit was introduced, it has complicated our supply chain and caused numerous increased costs to goods and added huge administration costs,” said Mr Houston. .

" A global pandemic certainly didn’t help the High Street and the resulting uptake of both working from home and online shopping continues to reduce footfall in town centres throughout Ireland.”

He revealed that company was owed money when UK fashion company Arcadia went into administration, which impacted the store’s profitability.

The company’s popular Dorothy Perkins and Wallis were stocked by Houstons in Dundalk, and Mr Houston said he “knew it was going to be a challenge to replace these brands and rebuild the store profitability.”

While they had added new brands such as Part Two, Fransa and B Young to the store, he said that the the current cost-of-living crisis due to the war in Ukraine meant “unfortunately the overall result is the store has become unviable”.

“I am not sure how long the store will remain open; we have just started a massive closing down sale to clear all remaining stock and there are great bargains in all departments,” he said.

“I want to say a big thank you to our wonderful Dundalk staff who have been magnificent through thick and thin. We have been in constant communication with them, and some may choose to relocate to our Newry store.

Mr Houston also thanked all their Dundalk customers for their support of nearly 30 years and hoped they will visit the nearby Houston stores of Newry and Banbridge.

Houstons was founded on March 17, 1950 by the Houston brothers Kennedy and Robert in Banbridge.

As well as the Dundalk shop, it has seven stores in Northern Ireland, in Newry, Banbridge, Enniskillen, Portadown, Lurgan, and Downpatrick. It’s shop in Drogheda closed a number of years ago.

Today's News in 90 seconds - May 25th