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Good news: Over 600 jobs saved as B&Q exits examinership

Around 640 jobs have been saved as the home improvement retailer’s eight stores across the country remain open but one store has closed with nearly 50 jobs lost.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

OVER 600 JOBS have been saved after the High Court approved an examiner’s recommendations for B&Q Ireland to continue trading at its eight stores across the country.

Under the scheme approved today, the home improvement retailer’s parent company Kingfisher is to invest €2.4 million which will ensure the retention of 640 jobs.

Significant losses forced B&Q to seek an examiner at the end of January in a bid to rescue the business. The rescue plan does involve the closure of its store in Waterford with 47 jobs lost.

“There is huge regret that the Waterford store was not viable, but, for the rest of the business, we look confidently forward to a sustainable future,” B&Q Ireland chairman Brian Mooney said.

The agreement sees four other stores, which B&Q said were also under threat including a premises in Athlone, saved with Mooney adding: “We are more committed than ever to our operations in Ireland, and our loyal customers and employees.”

Reacting to the news, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) said that in exiting the examinership process, B&Q had set a precedent for international brands trading here regarding upward only rent reviews and getting rents lowered if the viability of the tenant’s business is under threat.

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REI’s chief executive, David Fitzsimons, said: “The development is most interesting for international retailers with parent company guarantees as precedent has now been set indicating that leases can be renegotiated even with a parent company guarantee in place.”

Read: 137 jobs saved as 12 out of 24 Pamela Scott shops exit examinership

More: In landmark decision, court says Bewley’s Grafton Street rent should fall

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Hugh O'Connell

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