Newry jobs under threat as A-Wear falls into receivership

December 2, 2013

More Newry jobs were under threat this week as Irish fashion chain A-Wear announced it has fallen into receivership. High rents and increased competition have been blamed for the fashion retailer’s difficulties, which have been apparent since it went into the process of examinership on October 8th in an attempt to restructure. At the time the retailer said it had suffered from decreasing footfall and its survival would depend on negotiating low rents with landlords.

Ken Fennell of Kavanagh Fennell, the appointed receivers to the troubled chain, admitted that while all 31 stores across Ireland will continue to trade while the feasibility of the units is assessed, the closure of some stores is “inevitable”.

It is not the first time A-Wear has been placed into receivership.The beleagured fashion store was bought by investment group Jesta last year after it was placed into receivership by Hilco.  At the time, the Newry store situated in The Quays Shopping Centre, closed before re-opening some months ago.

The Dublin based business employs 358 staff including 117 full time staff.

The latest local jobs threat follows another announcement earlier this month that fellow retailer Barratts had gone into administration. Duff & Phelps, the appointed administrator to the high street shoe store said it was reviewing the shoe chain’s financial position, as well as seeking a sale of the business after it cited “difficult trading conditions” for its recent decline.

It is the third time in four years that Barratts has gone into administration after an investor who had offered to inject £5m into the shoe chain withdrew the offer on 7th November.

Although Barratts is expected to survive “in one form or another” local employees of both retailers now face a nervous wait in the build up to Christmas to find out if their jobs are safe.