Argos has decided to close its store at Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin after struggling to regain a sufficient volume of sales there following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
While the store will continue to trade through this Christmas and into the new year, a spokesman for the retailer told The Irish Times that it is expected to cease trading by summer 2023. The company has already served notice on its lease and informed the 16 members of staff at its Stephen’s Green outlet of its plan. The spokesman said that Argos will now begin a consultation process with these employees to explore the options available to them, including redeployment to other roles within Argos’s wider Irish operations. In terms of its city centre business, the retailer will continue to trade from the Ilac Centre.
Commenting on the planned closure of his company’s Stephen’s Green store, Argos property director Patrick Dunne said: “We understand this will be an unsettling time for those [employees] affected and we are supporting them in every way we can. We regularly review our property estate to ensure we can invest where it will have the greatest impact for our customers. The decision to close a store is never taken lightly.”
Argos said it had been monitoring the performance of its Stephen’s Green store closely since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. While sales at the store had seen what it described as a “moderate level of recovery”, this had not been sufficient, it said, to enable both city centre stores to “viably continue operations”.
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre is owned in its entirety by a fund managed by Davy Real Estate. The fund acquired the scheme in late 2019, paying a total of about €175 million for three separate shareholdings held by Madison International Realty (35.4 per cent), businessman Pierce Molony (27 per cent) and Irish Life (37.6 per cent).
Developed originally in 1988 by British Land, the centre has more than 90 shops over three levels with an overall floor area of 29,728sq m (320,000sq ft).