Future unclear for well-known Limerick clothes store following start of lockdown

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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Future unclear for well-known Limerick clothes store following start of lockdown

Closing-down sale: Tailor of Blue in Bedford Row

WHILE shops across the city have closed under level 5 restrictions until at least the end of the month, one of those stores looks set to be shuttering its doors for good.

Tailor of Blue in Bedford Row launched a closing down sale last week, and it is understood that the original intention was to shutter its city centre store by the end of January.

However, following An Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s announcement last wwk, and the ruling that non-essential retailers were not able to stay open this month, it is unclear what the future will hold for the store.

What is certain is that Tailor of Blue will remain open at the Crescent Shopping Centre in Dooradoyle.

Limerick Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan says she is “very sorry” to see another potential closure in the city centre.

“This is difficult news for all involved – owners, management and staff,” she said.​

“There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a devastating effect on retail businesses in addition to the other significant changes that have been taking place in the sector over the last decade,” Ms Ryan added.

She did sound a positive note for 2021, however, saying the year will see more investment with the start of the O’Connell Street project, the completion of work at the International Rugby Experience and the development of new units in Bishop’s Quay.

“It is critical that unoccupied retail units are converted into sustainable use as early as possible to contain the off-putting visual impact that empty units have on other businesses trading in the vicinity,” she added. “Unfortunately our city centre and some county towns still bear the visual scars of closed down businesses from the last recession. Through Chambers Ireland, Limerick Chamber has been calling on Minister Damien English to develop a national strategy for dealing with this challenge,” she added in a statement to the Limerick Leader.

Non-essential retailers have been particularly battered by the various Covid-19 lockdowns.