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Another landmark store gone: Boyers to shut down at start of 2016

The landmark store will close in January. Negotiations with unions are due to get under way.

Image: Google Streetview

Updated at 7pm

LANDMARK DUBLIN DEPARTMENT store Boyers is to close early next year, it was confirmed this evening.

Unions say they have agreed to negotiations with owners Fitzwilliam Finance Partners on the orderly wind down of the company.

It’s due to close for good in January of next year.

Around 85 workers are employed by the North Earl Street business, either directly or working for concession holders.

“The closure of the store is devastating news for the workforce,” Mandate official Jonathan Hogan said.

“However, we welcome the commitment from the employer to sit down with the workers’ unions to negotiate not only adequate redundancy terms but also, where possible, the redeployment of staff.

“We intend to commence these negotiations as soon as possible with the aim of securing terms agreeable for both directly employed staff and those union members working for concession holders prior to the agreed closure date of the business on 31st January, 2016.”

The development comes just months after nearby Clerys closed down – although the manner of the closure is markedly different.

While staff at Clerys were given only minimal notice and the landmark store closed immediately, Boyers will open as normal tomorrow morning – and negotiations with workers will take place.

Boyers is part of the Arnotts Group, which was taken over by Fitzwilliam Finance Partners earlier this year.

jn Source: TheJournal.ie

“Over a period of time, Fitzwilliam Finance Partners has engaged with a number of potential operators to manage and trade both Arnotts and Boyers Department Stores,” a statement from FFP said this evening.

“As no potential operator has expressed an interest in trading the Boyers Department Store, Fitzwilliam Finance Partners has been left with no option but to announce the closure of Boyers in a managed and orderly fashion on 31st January, 2016.”

“The long notice period is designed to facilitate appropriate consultations with staff, along with suppliers and concessions holders.

“Following its closure, the company will seek to sell the property”.

Meetings with suppliers and concessions are set to take place in the coming days.

According to the company:

“To facilitate the payment of agreed redundancy terms to impacted staff, a separate bank account will be established in the joint names of Fitzwilliam Finance Partners and Mandate Trade Union into which funds sufficient to cover all claims for redundancy can and will be met.

“This account will be ring fenced exclusively for that purpose.”

Today’s announcement will have “no impact” on the operations of Arnotts department store, the company says.

“The decision to close Boyers early next year is very regrettable but unfortunately, was unavoidable,” Noel Smyth, Managing Director of Fitzwilliam Finance Partners, said.

“We are absolutely committed to dealing with this development in a sensitive and respectful manner for all those concerned.”

A massive blow 

SIPTU’s Ethel Buckley said the decision was “a massive blow” to the store’s loyal workforce.

She added:

“However, the acceptance by the owner of the business, Noel Smyth, that the Boyers direct employees, workers for concession holders and contractors must be treated with respect is in stark contrast to the treatment of the Clerys workers.

“The coming weeks of negotiations will be difficult but we intend to ensure that an adequate agreement which suitably rewards the years of service of the Boyers workforce is agreed.

“Unions are always willing to work with employers in good faith even in unfortunate circumstances such as this.”

Read: ‘I gave 45 years to the store’: After 11 weeks, former Clerys staff aren’t going away

Read: Retailers fear Dublin traffic restrictions will force shoppers to out-of-town centres 

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