The Irish love affair with Debenhams was, like a lot of modern romances, complicated.
We don't as a nation always 'get' and automatically buy into British high street stars that move here.
It can be a long courtship but Debenhams steadily invaded our affections from 1996 when it opened over four floors in the Jervis Street shopping centre.
Once we got it, we bought into the brand which traces its history back to 1778 and Irish fashion adoptee, designer John Rocha, was a shining example of the Irish consumer's blossoming relationship with Debenhams.
There was one point when the Hong Kong-born, Dublin-based designer seemed to be dressing the entire Irish family with his affordable 'Rocha John Rocha' diffusion ranges for the high street chain.
Women loved him. They dressed their children in him and bought his menswear for their hubbies. The first generation of Irish guys carrying 'manbags' carried John Rocha, even if they didn't know it, and then the designer invaded our home space.
The clever retail device of having a stable of 'Designers at Debenhams' attracted customers to their city and people to their suburban stores like Blanchardstown, Blackrock in south Dublin and Mahon Point in Cork.
Racegoers descending on Galway were only delighted to find their occasion-wear and accessories stocked in the store behind Eyre Square, handy when they forgot their hat or the weather suddenly got sunny.
But from its heyday strengths, the high-street chain made some controversial changes that cost it loyal customers and footfall. It waved goodbye to a lot of its strong assets.
If the departure of Betty Jackson caused surprise, there was utter shock when the partnership with celebrity designer Ben de Lisi, who had renosed the Principles range for it, ended too.
The departure of John Rocha from its line-up was a big disappointment for faithful customers and not even playful collections from Jasper Conran could steady the ship.
Today, as news is digested about the closure of its stores here, how many price-conscious Irish brides will have stories to tell about the wow, No 1 Jenny Packham designer-feel wedding dress they picked up in store from her range at a fraction of Jenny's couture prices.
The appeal of the 'Studio by Preen' collaboration with husband and wife team, Thornton Bregazzi, has proved very popular with savvy customers who recognise the value and I suspect a lot of us will continue to buy them online now that stores are closing.
The news of the store closures will naturally raise concerns about the fate of the high street. This latest development in retail will worry the industry but retail consultant Eddie Shanahan says it is not the end of the high street.
"The high street as we knew it is not gone. It will be different, but it is not gone," he said.
"We don't know how different yet. There will have to be, for the time being, rules around social distancing and in 12 months, or thereabouts, there is a strong likelihood that we will have some form of vaccine and then that will bring us closer again to where we once were.
"The first people to benefit from whatever the new normal will be will be the pubs, cafés and restaurants. The next phase then will be a more general retail.
"I think because people have been locked in, there will be some spending on fashion and then on household items.
"From here on in, retail will be multichannel and if you don't have a trading website, you are not a real retailer," Mr Shanahan warns.