Carpetright closure blow to local economy

File photo dated 01/03/18 of a Carpetright in Leeds, as the embattled retailer has put jobs under threat as it draws up sweeping restructuring plans which will close poorly-performing stores and see it tap investors for up to �60 million. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 1, 2018. See PA story CITY Carpetright. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
File photo dated 01/03/18 of a Carpetright in Leeds, as the embattled retailer has put jobs under threat as it draws up sweeping restructuring plans which will close poorly-performing stores and see it tap investors for up to �60 million. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 1, 2018. See PA story CITY Carpetright. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Retail Northern Ireland chief executive Glyn Roberts says the closure of fice Carpetright stores, including the Coleraine outlet, in Northern Ireland is a blow to the local economy.

“The closure of these five stores is another sad loss to our retail sector,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with the staff who are losing their jobs and we hope they will be successful in finding employment elsewhere in the retail sector.

“We hope that Carpetright’s restructuring plan is successful in saving the overall business.

“The economic impact of this is much wider than just the five stores.

“There will also be the reduction in footfall for neighbouring retailers which has to factored in.

“With Maplin and Toys R Us recently closing, these are challenging times for our retail sector.”

The company announced the closure of five of its stores in Northern Ireland including those in Coleraine, Londonderry, Ballymena, Bangor, and Newtownabbey.

In total, the company is closing 92 stores across the UK.

Commenting on the closure of the Coleraine store, Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said the news was a blow to the town.

The East Derry MLA said: “Those employed by the company in Coleraine and elsewhere will rightly be concerned about these closures.

“The loss of these jobs would be a blow to the Coleraine area and the local economy.

“Management should ensure that staff are kept informed of developments and opportunities for relocation or redeployment should be offered if possible.”