Waterstone's to close two Dublin stores

Wed, Feb 2, 2011, 00:00

NEARLY 50 people are likely to lose their jobs following the announcement that Waterstone’s is to close two of its three Dublin stores this Sunday.

The multi-storey outlets on Dawson Street and at the Jervis Centre will close this weekend. However, but the iconic Dublin bookshop Hodges & Figgis, which is owned by Waterstone’s, will remain open and will continue to trade under the Hodges & Figgis brand.

Waterstone’s is owned by HMV Group, which also owns the HMV music brand. A spokesman for the company said HMV was making “no announcement” regarding the future of HMV’s music stores in Ireland.

In January, HMV Group said it was planning to close 40 HMV stores and 20 Waterstone’s outlets across Britain and Ireland this year. So far nine of the 40 HMV stores targeted for closure have shut, while the closure of 14 of the 20 Waterstone’s shops have been announced.

HMV has 16 shops in the Republic and 11 in Northern Ireland.

The closure of the two Dublin Waterstone’s stores would have no impact on the company’s other stores in Drogheda and Cork, the company said yesterday.

Forty-six people are employed in the Jervis Centre and Dawson Street branches.

While the company said it would redeploy staff where possible, redundancies were inevitable.

As well as the closure of two stores in Dublin, Waterstone’s announced the closure of nine other branches in the UK.

“As is the case with Dublin, where we will continue to have a presence through Hodges & Figgis, most of the other closures are in towns where there was already more than one Waterstone’s branch.”

He added the company would be interested in opening further stores in the Republic, though there was “nothing in the pipeline”.

The announcements come in the wake of falling sales for HMV, which yesterday reported a 13.6 per cent slump in sales in Britain and Ireland in the five weeks to January 1st.

The company warned that profits for the year to April would be near the bottom of the range of forecasts.

It also revealed it was struggling to meet the terms of a bank loan.

Waterstone’s also has operations in Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore.

More recently, it has moved into the area of Blu-ray discs, mobile phones and live entertainment.