Argos to close 30 remaining stores as it exits Irish market

‘I’ll miss it dreadfully. It was my favourite way to shop,’ says one loyal customer in Dublin

Argos stores around the country are opening their doors for the last time on Saturday, as the British retailer is closing down its operations in the Republic of Ireland.

The catalogue retailer announced in January that it would be closing all of its 34 stores in the Republic by June 24th. With four stores already closed in recent months, the remaining 30 will close at 5pm on Saturday.

In a statement on Friday, Argos said it arrived at the decision to leave the Republic of Ireland “following a long period of careful consideration and a thorough review of its business and operations in the country”.

“Since it first arrived there, Argos has operated on a bespoke model that is significantly different from its wider UK operation and this week’s closures only relate to Argos stores in the Republic of Ireland,” it said.


Latest financial statements filed by the group’s Irish arm, Argos Distributors (Ireland) Ltd, showed that in the year to March 5th 2022, the company had an operating loss of €12.6 million, and saw sales decrease by 21.25 per cent on the previous year.

Just outside Rathfarnham on Friday, the self-service screens of Argos in Nutgrove Shopping Centre were quiet save for a few loyal customers making their final purchases.

Barbara Evans came prepared with a checklist, as she collected a trolley load of items for herself and friends who couldn’t make it in before closing day.

“I’ll miss it dreadfully. It was my favourite way to shop. You could look it up in the catalogue online and read the reviews, and they had a mix of stuff from different manufacturers so you could do comparisons, and there was great customer service,” she said.

Christina O’Reilly was a regular at the Nutgrove store and said she had always been a fan of Argos.

“I shopped here often, and my daughter would shop online for me if I couldn’t get down here. I love it, and the staff are lovely. I got furniture, I got my shopping trolleys and everything; I will miss it. It’s a shame that they’re all closing down,” she said.

Up to 580 staff are affected by the store closures here and those eligible will be offered an “enhanced redundancy package” which has been accepted by Mandate, the recognised trade union representing retail workers.

It is understood that staff are to receive an additional four weeks’ pay per year of service on top of statutory redundancy requirements, bringing the total redundancy package offered to six weeks’ pay per year of service.

The small proportion of staff not eligible for redundancy under Irish law will be offered a one-off goodwill payment. Argos will also be providing a programme of recruitment upskilling and other outplacement support for employees.

Michael Meegan, divisional organiser with Mandate, said it is a “sad day” for customers and staff in the Republic, but that the redundancy package will be “helpful” in the medium term.

“The majority of staff in Argos were long-serving, loyal staff who have been serving Argos since the early 90s when it first came into Ireland,” he said.

“The staff from Argos have skills that will be easily employable in other areas of retail, and a lot of them I know have applied for jobs and will be getting jobs as they complete their redundancy sign-off,” he added.

Argos has said it will continue to honour its statutory obligations to customers and has been working closely with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in recent months.

Andy McClelland, operations manager at Argos Ireland, said the company “did not make this decision lightly” and thanked everyone who has supported operations in the Republic of Ireland over the past 25 years.

“I would particularly like to thank our fantastic colleagues for their patience and professionalism in the months since we shared our plans with them. We will continue to help those affected however we can as the Irish part of our business winds down,” he said.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.