New owners promise 'fresh start' for Clerys
on 18/09/2012 08:27:53
Receivers were appointed to the companies which operate the iconic shop on Dublin's O'Connell Street yesterday, and a deal, on its future, for an undisclosed fee, was confirmed last night.
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.
Investment firm Gordon Brothers also has good news for staff at Clerys however, with a promise that they will be re-employed on their current terms and conditions.
"This sale will mean that all of the 147 Clerys employees who are based at the O'Connell Street store will transfer under Transfer of Undertakings law to OCS Operations Limited on existing terms and conditions of employment," said an OCS statement.
"The store will continue to trade on a 'business as usual' basis."
All customer deposits, vouchers and store cards in place prior to the joint receivers being appointed will be honoured in full by the new owners.
The new owners are committed to working with the store's concessionaire partners and suppliers and will liaise directly with them over the coming days.
"The iconic Clerys department store has, for generations of Irish people, been an important feature of Dublin retail life and Gordon Brothers is committed to re-vitalising its fortunes," said Frank Morton, CEO, Gordon Brothers Europe.
"Today's announcement will facilitate Clerys to make a fresh start. We are acutely conscious of and respectful towards its heritage and tradition.
"Clerys on O'Connell Street offers the current generation of shoppers a contemporary shopping experience featuring an impressive range of brands and products.
"Clerys and the sector in general have faced significant challenges in recent years, and changes will be required to bring the store onto a secure and sustainable footing.
"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."
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," said chief executive David Fitzsimons.
"Leases in their retail park stores (Leopardstown and Naas) were a major contributor to receivership."
Clerys opened in 1853 as one of the world's first purpose-built department stores.
The Guiney family took it over in 1941 but it has been struggling over recent years with severely depressed consumer spending across the country.