Argos has announced today that it will shut all of its stores in the Republic of Ireland by the end of June this year, following a “period of careful consideration” it said.
The closure of its 34 stores and associated operations across the country is expected to result in the loss of 580 jobs.
There will be no change to Argos outlets in Northern Ireland.
The high street retail chain, which sells consumer electronics, home appliances, toys and other household and garden products, was acquired by Sainsbury’s in 2016.
The company operates in the Republic of Ireland with a “significantly different” business model to Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, according to Argos. Its strategy in the UK has been to close many standalone Argos stores and open outlets within Sainsbury’s supermarkets. However, the group does not have supermarkets in the Republic of Ireland.
Today’s statement said: “Argos concluded the investment required to develop and modernise the Irish part of its business was not viable and that the money would be better invested in other parts of its business.”
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said this decision had “nothing to do with Brexit”.
The company said it would propose “an enhanced” redundancy package for the affected workers during closure negotiations, and Argos workers in the country would benefit from an enhanced redundancy package going “beyond its statutory obligations”.
Argos said that its 253 standalone stores and 422 outlets inside Sainsbury’s supermarkets across Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales were performing well, and these would be unaffected by this move.