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Irish retailer Superquinn announced that it is closing its Dundalk store and will lay off 400 people as one way of shoring up its financial situation.

“This programme is necessary to secure the future of our business and to protect almost 90% of the jobs in Superquinn,” said Simon Burke, chairman of the company, in a prepare statement. “We are hoping to reach agreement with regard to the wide ranging measures with colleagues representatives over the coming weeks. These measures will provide Superquinn with a competitive trading base and avoid putting all of the jobs in Superquinn at risk. It breaks any retailer’s heart to close a store, but recent developments in cross-border shopping have left us with no alternative. It is our hope to avoid any other closures as part of the programme.”

KC's View:
The irony of this is that Dundalk is where Feargal Quinn opened his first store in 1960, though he closed that unit in 1982 and opened a much larger store there in 1999. (The new unit was a very nice one…I’ve been there.)

The real problem, as noted by Burke in his statement, is that food is much cheaper in Northern Ireland at the moment, and Dundalk is not far from the border…which put the store in an almost untenable position. Combine that with Ireland’s current financial woes, and Superquinn is doing what it needs to do to position itself correctly.