Covid-19 claims first big retail victim in Laois

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

mothercare covid-19

Mothercare falls victim to Covid-19

Covid-19 has claimed its first big retail victim in Laois with confirmation that Mothercare in Portlaoise is set to close.

The shop, which was located in the Portlaoise Retail Park, is among 14 to close following the liquidation of the firm by Mothercare Ireland.

Nearly 200 staff worked at its shops around Ireland. The company could not say how many Portlaoise jobs would be lost.

The company issued a statement from Jonathan Ward, Mothercare Ireland Managing Director.

“When COVID-19 began to spread in Ireland no one knew the scale of the impact that this would have.  I think it’s also fair to say that three months on we are still unsure as to the extent and the duration that COVID-19 will be a factor in our lives. #

"The impact on our business to date is unprecedented and what has become clear over the recent weeks is that store sales are going to continue to be seriously impacted in the short term whilst social distancing measures are in place and longer-term as consumer habits permanently change.  Our own projections on future store sales were very similar to 360 other companies in a recent Retail Excellence report. 

"We had already experienced issues with our supply chain in 2020 and when we factor the COVID-19 impact on top of this we are forecasting substantial losses this year alone.  Unfortunately, our business is now no longer sustainable as it will continue to make losses into the future.

"As a family business, it is devastating news for the entire team.  Whilst we’ve tried to keep our teams as up to date as possible through these challenging times, it’s still a huge shock.  I’d like to personally thank all our loyal management and staff for their dedication and service to our customers over the years.

"We’d like to acknowledge also the support of our customers, who have trusted us to look after their little ones for three generations, and to all our suppliers who have worked alongside us over the last 28 years,” it said.

As to the policy in relation to gift tokens, credit notes and warranties if applicable, the company said any customers with queries are advised to email support@mothercareireland.zendesk.com

 

The company issued the following statement to customers on its website.