Eight outlets run by the Arcadia retail group are set to close at the Blanchardstown Centre in Dublin, it was revealed today.
Staff at the Topshop, Topman, Evans, Outfit, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burtons store in the shopping centre were informed that their outlets would shut down when the current lease expires.
Arcadia currently employs 104 people at the site but now plans to withdraw its retailers due to unsustainably high rental rates.
Responding to the news, Torlach Denihan, Director of lobby group Retail Ireland, said: “Over 100 employees now face the grim reality of losing their jobs because of unsustainable high rents being charged to retailers.
“Over the last three years retailers have been under increasing pressure to reduce their cost base while commercial landlords have refused to lower rents to reflect the new economic circumstances faced by their tenants.”
Irish retail has been suffering a torrid time over recent months, with the fallout from the EU bailout of the national economy resulting in consumer confidence plummeting.
Such a large withdrawal of such key retailers at the country’s biggest shopping centre will be a further blow to a beleagured industry, which saw trade fall 3.3 per cent like-for-like over Christmas.
Denihan added: “Some 50,000 jobs have been lost in the retail sector to date and a fair share of this is due to refusal by landlords to engage with their tenants regarding rent reductions.
“This shows the urgency with which the new government must legislate to ban upward-only rent reviews for existing leases. If this is not done promptly more jobs will be lost and otherwise viable businesses will have to close.”