30 jobs could be lost at DIY store

by Gazette Reporter
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Up to 30 jobs look set to be lost as DIY giant Homebase announced the closure of their Fonthill store this week.

The store on the Fonthill Road will be one of three closed as the company enters examinership.

Homebase has filed a petition with the High Court in Dublin seeking the appointment of an examiner.

The court has appointed Kieran Wallace of KPMG as interim examiner, providing protection for Homebase Ireland, during the period of examinership.

Homebase Ireland has 15 stores in the Republic of Ireland, employing 558 staff.  Of these 114 are full-time and 444 are part-time.

The examinership documents say that based upon both the current trading performance and forecast projections, it is proposed that three of the 15 stores will close.

These stores are located in Fonthill, Carlow and Castlebar. In total, they employ 17 full time and 79 part time staff.

In addition, the future viability of the remaining 12 stores will depend on a number of factors including securing the agreement of individual landlords of improved lease terms.

Robert Burke, chairman, Homebase Ireland said: “The significant deterioration in consumer spending over the last five years coupled with high rents at each of our stores has made restructuring an imperative in order to re-establish a sustainable business, to secure the future of as many stores as possible and to protect as many jobs as possible.

“[This] appointment represents an important step in this process.

“Customers can be reassured that the business will trade as normal during the examinership and all ordered products, pre-payments, credit notes and vouchers will be fully honoured.”

Fianna Fail councillor Trevor Gilligan said that the news was a “huge blow” for the area, which has already seen rises in the numbers of people on the Live Register.

“It’s a huge blow for the area and comes after some previous issues with the likes of B&Q and Xtra Vision.

“I would have thought it was one of their busier stores, but I hope that there is something done for the staff to help them get back into work as soon as possible.”

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