Thomas Cook announces closure of Quays, Newry branch
More local jobs will be lost in Newry after it emerged that Thomas Cook is set to close one of its two Newry stores.
Joanna Wild, managing director of the Thomas Cook Co-operative retail network, said, “As a large retailer we regularly review our network to make sure we have the right stores in the right places for our customers and regrettably there are occasions where we need to close certain branches.
“Following careful consideration, we have announced that eight stores are proposed to close in the Northern Ireland region and we are working with those colleagues who are affected.”
“Our high street stores are a popular way for customers to book with us and are an essential part of our multi-channel approach alongside our websites and sales centres,” she added.
Speaking to Newry Times, Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin described the news as ‘sad’.
“It is of course sad that the Newry branch will close meaning that staff there face economic uncertainty and as was the case with the HMV closure, we are again seeing in essence a consumer driven change, in this instance in the form of searching for holiday deals and booking holidays online.”
Irwin added, “The current economic climate would also point to the fact that people aren’t booking holidays perhaps as often as they did in the recent past.
“These are all factors which are contributing to the financial squeeze on the high street, but we must remember that behind every story such as this are hard working, devoted staff who, through no fault of their own, are left jobless.”
Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady said the announcement was a ‘huge blow’ to the local economy, especially coming so quickly after the closure of Jessops and HMV in the city. “This news will cause further strain on the local community as more jobs will be lost,” Brady insisted.
“It’s very important that all workers’ rights and entitlements are honoured. Like many of these well-known high street names they have provided good employment over the years.
Brady added, “My thoughts are with the workers and their families. I would like to assure workers affected by the closure that the local Sinn Féin office is open to offer any advice at this difficult time.”
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