Dunnes Stores finally pulling down the shutters at Portadown
MORE than 20 jobs are to go in Portadown as Dunnes Stores intends closing its store at High Street Mall in the town, where it has operated since the 1970s.
It comes as the Dublin-based retailer scales back on its Northern Ireland operations, having closed its outlet in June in the ailing Flagship Centre in Bangor.
The closure of Dunnes at Magowan Buildings in Portadown has seemed inevitable for the last two years.
In August 2015 staff there were given 30 days' notice and told that unless an anchor tenant was found at the shopping centre, the store wasn't viable.
But Dunnes did an unexpected U-turn and continued to operate a clothing aisle at the mall.
However, those remaining staff - some of whom have more than 30 years' service - were called to a meeting yesterday and informed the shop is closing for good.
And this time it is understood there is little hope of redeployment.
"We're shattered at this decision. Dunnes have been a good firm to work for, but this really is the end," one member of staff said.
And Argos is also set to pulled down the shutters today in Portadown.
That is the outworking of Sainsburys' £1.4 billion takeover of the catalogue brand, and around 20 jobs are being lost.
High Street Mall, built in 1996 at the site of the former Irwin's Bakery, is owned by Hillsborough-based Brittas Properties, which bought the centre two years ago for more than £2 million.