Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Jobs saved amid Clerys store deal

US private equity group Gordon Brothers pledged to revitalise Dublin's famous Clerys store

Iconic Irish department store Clerys has been sold to a US private equity firm.

All 147 staff at the famous shop on O'Connell Street in Dublin will keep their jobs as new owners Gordon Brothers pledged to revitalise the business.

The store - one of the first of its kind in the world - went into receivership on Monday night.

Frank Morton, chief executive of Gordon Brothers Europe, said the firm would work to bring the struggling store onto a secure footing.

"Today's announcement will facilitate Clerys to make a fresh start," said Mr Morton. "We are acutely conscious of and respectful towards its heritage and tradition."

Joint receivers Paul McCann and Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton insisted Clerys will continue business as usual following the sale, agreed for an undisclosed sum.

"We will invest in the store and look forward to working with the management, staff, concessionaires and suppliers to review and improve operations, to significantly enhance the offering to customers and build on the many excellent features of the store," Mr Morton added.

Despite the Clerys buy-out, two stores in the group - Guiney of Talbot Street and Denis Guiney Furnishings, which operates two Clerys Home Furnishing stores in Leopardstown and Naas - will be liquidated.

Grant Thornton earlier confirmed directors had deemed the stores no longer economically viable. The Talbot Street store employed 10 people while there were 19 staff in the furnishing outlets.

Retail industry trade body Retail Excellence Ireland welcomed the news. "This will now mean new investment in the business and the return of Clerys to competitive footing. Leases in their retail park stores (Leopardstown and Naas) were a major contributor to receivership," said chief executive David Fitzsimons.

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