By Suzanne Pender
HIGH-profile fashion retailer Pamela Scott this week announced it’s to close half of its stores across the country, including its outlet in Fairgreen Shopping Centre, Carlow.
As trading conditions deteriorated due to the Covid-19 crisis, the company took the decision to close 13 of its stores, including other outlets in Cork city, Dublin, Limerick and Gorey.
Stores in Clonmel, Mullingar, Castlebar, Waterford, Newbridge, Wexford, Ennis, Letterkenny, Midleton, Athlone, Navan and Kilkenny will continue to trade.
Provisional liquidators have been appointed by the High Court to two related companies that operate 13 fashion retail stores.
The firms are Arzac Developments, which operates ten of the Pamela Scott stores, and Richard Alan, which has three stores. The two firms are owned by Flairline Fashion and employ 104 people.
Seeking the winding-up orders, the firms said that in recent years they have experienced a challenging environment due to changes in customer shopping habits and increases in operating costs.
However, their difficulties have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the firms are now insolvent and cannot continue to trade.
The court appointed Eamonn Richardson and Ian Barrett of KPMG as joint provisional liquidators to Richard Alan & Co and Arzac Developments.
Both companies were reliant on Flairline for administration, financial and business support and could no longer rely on these services as financial conditions deteriorated, the court heard.
The directors of Flairline are all members of the Barron family. After appointing the provisional liquidators, the judge adjourned the cases to a date in November.
In a statement, Pamela Scott said that the restructuring would help secure 90 jobs and its online operations would be unaffected. It said that gift vouchers, credit notes, loyalty cards and deposits will not be affected by the closures.
It is ‘devastating’ to have to close shops and lay off staff, but these are “extraordinary times that required extraordinary measures,” managing director Richard Barron said.
He said the move was necessary to protect “the livelihoods of our remaining 90 employees.”