Argos to close entire retail operation in the Republic with the loss of 580 jobs

Argos said it will cease trading in the Republic of Ireland on June 24 2023.
Argos said it will cease trading in the Republic of Ireland on June 24 2023.

ARGOS is to close its entire operation in the Republic of Ireland with the loss of around 580 jobs.

The retailer, which is part of the Sainsbury’s group, said it plans to shut all 34 stores by the end of June.

The company said its operation in Northern Ireland will not change as a result.

In a statement, Argos said the decision followed a lengthy review of its entire business and operations in the Republic.

“Argos concluded the investment required to develop and modernise the Irish part of its business was not viable and that the money would be better invested in other parts of its business.”

Most of its outlets will remain open until June 24, with four closing earlier due to lease terms (Kilkenny, Portlaoise, Galway and St Stephen's Green in Dublin).

But Argos said customers in the Republic will no longer be able to pay for orders via the Argos website or place orders via its home delivery service after March 22 2023

It said orders placed up to this date will continue to be fulfilled and customers will still be able to reserve products online and pay for them in store until the point of business closure.

The retail group confirmed it has started consulting its 580 staff in the Republic about the closures.

“Everyone at Argos recognises that today’s news will be unsettling for all its colleagues, some of whom have served Argos customers in Ireland for many years, and disappointing for its loyal customers.

“As part of its consultation with colleagues and Mandate, the recognised trade union, Argos will propose an enhanced redundancy package that goes well beyond its statutory obligations.

“The small number of colleagues not eligible for redundancy under Irish Law are expected to receive a one-off goodwill payment. To further support colleagues, Argos has also committed to a programme of wider support over the coming months.”

Michael Meegan from the Mandate union said: “Today is a difficult one for Argos’s staff here in Ireland.

“Because Argos is shutting down its complete operation in Ireland, this amounts to a collective redundancy, which requires a 30-day consultation period, and we know the company intends to honour that obligation to engage.

“We will be using this period to negotiate the best possible terms for those who are losing their jobs and we are expecting a constructive response from the company.”

The retailer described its “bespoke model” in the Republic as “significantly different” to its wider UK operation.

“There will be no change to the retailer’s operations in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, where Argos is performing well and collectively has over 1,000 points of presence,” it said.

“This includes 253 standalone stores and 422 Argos stores inside Sainsbury’s stores, as well as Argos Click and Collect inside over 400 other Sainsbury’s stores.”

However, the group has changed the make-up of its operation in Northern Ireland in recent years, with around half its portfolio of 21 outlets now based inside larger Sainsbury’s stores.

Sainsbury’s also closed its supermarket at the Rushmere Shopping Centre in Craigavon in February 2022.

Commenting on Thursday’s announcement, Andy McClelland, Argos Ireland operations manager, said: “We understand this is difficult news for our customers and colleagues.

“As with any major change to our business, we have not made this decision lightly and we are doing everything we can to support those impacted.

“On behalf of everyone at Argos I would like to thank our colleagues, customers, suppliers and partners for their support to our business.”