Retail chain Mothercare – which sells a range of maternity products and items for babies and young children – is to close its 14 stores in Ireland, including its outlet in Portlaoise.
They announced this morning that the company has gone into liquidation with the loss of 197 jobs around the country. A number of those roles – both part-time and full-time – were based in Portlaoise.
Their outlet in Portlaoise was in the retail park on the Timahoe Road.
“When COVID-19 began to spread in Ireland no one knew the scale of the impact that this would have,” said Mothercare’s Managing Director Jonathan Ward in a statement this morning.
“I think it’s also fair to say that three months on we are still unsure as to the extent and the duration that COVID-19 will be a factor in our lives.
“The impact on our business to date is unprecedented and what has become clear over the recent weeks is that store sales are going to continue to be seriously impacted in the short term whilst social distancing measures are in place and longer term as consumer habits permanently change.
“Our own projections on future store sales were very similar to 360 other companies in a recent Retail Excellence report.
“We had already experienced issues with our supply chain in 2020 and when we factor the COVID-19 impact on top of this we are forecasting substantial losses this year alone.
“Unfortunately our business is now no longer sustainable as it will continue to make losses into the future.”
Their announcement follows on from the decision of Monsoon and Accessorize this week that they will be closing their Irish stores permanently.
In April, Debenhams announced it wouldn’t re-open its stores after the Covid-19 pandemic which will result in an overall loss of 2,000 jobs in Ireland.