Five Northern Ireland stores to fall victim to Carpetright restructuring process
The closure of five Carpetright stores in Northern Ireland has been described as a "sad loss" for our retail sector.
The blow came as the chain announced 92 stores across the UK would shut, resulting in a loss of 300 jobs as part of a restructuring process.
There are eight Carpetright branches in Northern Ireland, with stores in Derry, Coleraine, Ballymena, Cookstown, Bangor, Newtownabbey, and two in Belfast.
The Ballymena, Bangor, Newtownabbey, Coleraine and Derry stores are expected to close by the end of September.
The chain said 92 sites across the UK had been earmarked for closure, although 11 have already stopped trading, with the rent on another 113 set to be slashed under the company voluntary arrangement proposals being put to landlords.
It said it hopes to relocate staff where possible. The group - which employs nearly 2,700 staff in total - also confirmed an investor cash-call to raise around £60m through a rights issue to put the company on a firmer financial footing.
The details came as it revealed a "technical breach" of its banking arrangements, but the group said it was taking action to address this and ensure it is amended for the future.
Carpetright chief executive Wilf Walsh said: "These tough but necessary actions will enable us to address the burden of a legacy UK property estate consisting of too many poorly located stores on unsustainable rents, and are essential if we are to restore our profitability and deliver a successful turnaround.
"We will remain in close contact with all colleagues to keep them fully informed as we move through this process."
Meanwhile it emerged yesterday that Toys R Us is set to shut its final UK stores.
The Sprucefield branch will close on April 23 and the Belfast CastleCourt store will close the following day.
Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts said it was "another sad loss to our retail sector".