Why is retail group Argos closing all its stores in Ireland?

Retail group Argos has said that as of the end of June this year, it would cease all business activities and close all its stores in the Republic of Ireland. Argos will start the process of progressively winding down its Irish operations. Customers can still visit Argos stores in the Republic of Ireland through June 24. Customers in Ireland won’t be able to place purchases through Argos’ home delivery service or use its website to pay for them after March 22. Customers will still be able to reserve items online and pay for them in-store till the moment of company closure, and orders placed before this date will be completed. Argos says the decision will result in the closure of 34 stores across Ireland. 

Why is Argos closing Irish stores? 

The company claimed that after giving the matter due thought and reviewing all of its activities and business in the nation, it finally made the choice. According to the company’s statement, Argos determined that other areas of its business would benefit more from the expenditure needed to expand and modernise the Irish portion of its operations.

Will Argos compensate employees? 

According to the company, Argos will present an increased redundancy package (advantages that a company offers to employees who lose their employment) which goes well beyond its statutory duties. It said the small number of colleagues not eligible for redundancy under Irish Law are expected to receive a one-off goodwill payment. Andy McClelland, Argos Ireland Operations Manager, said as with any major change to our business, the company have not made this decision lightly and will do everything it can to support those impacted. 

How many employees are expected to lose their job? 

With the closure of Irish stores by Argos, loss of 580 jobs is likely to take place. 

Irish trade union, Mandate, expresses disappointment

Mandate, a trade union that advocates for Irish retail employees, voiced unhappiness with the decision. According to mandate official Michael Meegan, the union will work closely with the business to negotiate the best terms for the employees who will be laid off. He said that it is a difficult decision for Argos’s staff in Ireland as they got the news that the company will be closing down in Ireland.

“Because Argos is shutting down its complete operation in Ireland this amounts to a collective redundancy which requires a 30-day consultation period and we know the company intends to honour that obligation to engage,” he said. “We will be using this period to negotiate the best possible terms for those who are losing their jobs and we are expecting a constructive response from the company,” he added. 

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