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Dozens of jobs to be lost as Marks and Spencer shut two Irish stores

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Retailer Marks and Spencer will shut two of its underperforming stores in the Republic of Ireland, putting dozens of jobs at risk.

The company confirmed the closure of its stores in Drogheda and on Clarion Quay in Dublin, citing consistent drops in sales and low occupancy levels.

A total of 76 staff work across the two stores, with 57 in Drogheda and 19 in Clarion Quay. 

Despite the closures, Country Director for Marks and Spencer Ireland & Northern Ireland, Eddie Murphy said the retailer was “committed to Ireland” and has “ambitious plans” for growth including doubling the number of its Irish-based suppliers.

Mr Murphy confirmed that Clarion Quay Foodhall is being closed because of “a consistent decline in sales and footfall over several years.”

He added that its Drogheda store was ceasing trading due to low occupancy in the shopping centre as well as its sales performance, which was behind the rest of its store estate.

“Shopping habits are changing, and we are shaping our store estate to focus our investment on the right stores in the right places,” Mr Murphy added. “We need to modernise our business to safeguard what we have achieved.”

Sinn Féin TD, Louise O’Reilly called the closures “an incredible shock,” adding that up to 100 jobs could be lost as a result.

The TD has called for the closures and subsequent redundancies to be notified to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, adding that it was essential the company engage quickly and in good faith.

Ms O’Reilly added that there should be a focus on “saving as many jobs as possible through local redeployment and saving that, that affected workers receive a fair exit package.”

“The affected M&S workers must be the priority here and it is imperative that the government stands up for them.”

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