Further blow to Limerick with planned closure of retailer

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Wallis on Cruises Street
LADIES clothing retailer Wallis is to close its Cruises Street branch with the loss of 21 jobs.

LADIES clothing retailer Wallis is to close its Cruises Street branch with the loss of 21 jobs.

Workers were this week told that the company, owned by the Arcadia group, was to close in Cruises Street by mid-September so it could “realign the business”.

It is the third store the Arcadia group will have shut down in the street, with Dorothy Perkins and Evans also closing in recent years.

There are two other Wallis stores in Limerick - one at the Childers Road shopping centre, and the other a concession in Shaw’s in the Crescent Shopping Centre.

Dialogue between the Mandate union and management is to get under way this Thursday.

Organiser Karen Wall said: “Mandate will work to ensure the best outcome possible for our members. Obviously that means redeployment.”

She said the majority of the workers are not interested in taking a redundancy package.

Although the Arcadia group did not return telephone calls or emails to its London office this Wednesday, Ms Wall said the firm had blamed upward-only rent reviews for the closure.

“From our perspective, we also see the austerity budget taking money from people’s pockets, which is definitely affecting retail,” Ms Wall said, “On the wider scale, we would like to urge the government to ensure the next budget is about investment and the creation of jobs, rather than taking money from people’s pockets.”

The closure of Wallis is yet another blow to the once bustling Cruises Street.

As well as the two other Arcadia stores, the neighbouring store GAME ceased trading last year, while HMV closed this year.

Heirlooms has also closed, while the Irish Nationwide building remains unoccupied giving the street a high vacancy rate.