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Coleraine department store Dixons to close in 2020

Dixons of Coleraine
Dixons of Coleraine

By Caitríona Mc Bride

Dixons of Coleraine, one of Northern Ireland's best-known department stores, is closing down with the loss of 22 jobs.

Managing director Ian Dixon confirmed that the shop, one of Northern Ireland’s oldest surviving department stores, will close in the new year.

The independent fashion retailer opened in 1895.  Mr Dixon’s family has run the store for four generations.

“We have taken the decision to close the business as we have nobody coming after us as a new generation to take on the store and I have decided to retire. Nobody is closing us down, I have decided to retire,” said Mr Dixon.

Mr Dixon said that retail has become challenging with the advent of online shopping. However, he said that the loyalty of their of customers has seen them through tougher times.

“I’ll miss the customers. A lot of them are like friends and I know some of them will be devastated that we are closing. I’ll miss the fun we had.”

Mr Dixon said he had informed his employees last week that the business will close in 2020.

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“The staff aren’t over the moon about it, but we are trading and getting on with it.

“It’s business as usual, there is no angst. I don’t have a specific date in mind for when we will close yet.”

The store carries a range of fashion brands including Betty Barclay, Marc O’Polo and Bugatti. They also carry homewear and toys as well as a cafe.

Mr Dixon said that the business started to scale back in recent years as they did not renew leases on their satellite outlet on the Lisburn Road and two outlets in Newtownards.

“When the leases came up we let them go.”

The family owns the building in Coleraine and plans to lease it out to a suitable tenant.

“I hadn’t really thought that far ahead yet but I have a list of people who might be interested in it. We have to find the right person for it," said Mr Dixon.

“Business is challenging, but you can make a living out of it. Coleraine is a reasonably buoyant town.”

Dixons will hold a retirement sale before closing its doors in 2020.

“It is quite a loss for Coleraine, but life goes on and someone else will come in and open a new business for the town,” he said.

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