Fears for jobs in Limerick as sports retailer struggles

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

TEN jobs are in the balance on the outskirts of the city, after sports retailer JJB said it had failed to secure vital funds to keep the firm afloat.

TEN jobs are in the balance on the outskirts of the city, after sports retailer JJB said it had failed to secure vital funds to keep the firm afloat.

The British sports retailer has just four outlets in the Republic of Ireland, with one of these at the Childers Road shopping centre.

Around 10 people work in store, a number which has been steadily decreasing over the past few months.

A popular fitness club, which includes a swimming pool, also operates on site.

The retailer has put itself up for sale, and a number of buyers have identified themselves.

A spokesman for the retailer has indicated it will not be selling stores individually, and it would be likely any fitness centre would have to a part of the sale.

Therefore, if no buyer is found for JJB Sports internationally, the fitness centre here would close.

This would lead to disappointment for people who have signed up to long-term deals with JJB Fitness.

JJB - which employs 4,000 people across Britain and Ireland - has been involved in a long-running battle for survival following a slump in sales, and a string of profit warnings.

If no buyer is found, it would represent a further blow for the Childers Road shopping area after DIY chain Atlantic Homecare closed its store there on Friday.

Chairman of the city’s economic committee, Cllr Diarmuid Scully said that although the JJB retail business was going downhill, the neighbouring fitness centre appears buoyant.

He said its potential closure would be a big blow, given the fact public facilities in Roxboro and St Enda’s have also ceased to operate. He expressed sympathy for those facing redundancy.