Staff at the Eason store in Derry have been told that it is to close

Large outlet is is based in Foyleside Shopping Centre

Staff at the Eason store in Derry have been told that it is to close

Staff at the Eason store in Derry have been told that it is to close.

Employees at the large store in Foyleside Shopping Centre were told the news this afternoon.

The store has not reopened since the recent easing of the lockdown restrictions.

Eason has told staff that it will not be reopening its seven stores in Northern Ireland.

The company said Covid-19 had 'exacerbated challenges already facing the business'.

Eason and Son is based in Dublin and operates more than 60 bookshops across the island of Ireland.

The announcement by Eason & Son NI has no impact on operations in the Republic of Ireland.

In a statement, the company said it informed its employees in Northern Ireland of its intention to 'commence a consultation process around proposals not to reopen its seven stores in Northern Ireland

Employees are being invited to elect representatives to engage with the company around its proposals as part of a collective redundancy process which is expected to last for about 30 days.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said it was 'incredibly sad news' for staff and the public.

"Eason & Son was a household name and a hugely respected local business, and its closure is a loss to our retail sector.

"It's not just the loss of the business - it is the reduced footfall for the surrounding traders located beside its seven stores that we also have to factor in," he added.

The closure of the store in Derry will be a huge blow to the Foyleside centre where the Eason store was one of the main tenants.

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