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Sainsbury's' Argos Business To Exit Ireland

British supermarket group Sainsbury's said on Thursday its Argos general merchandise business will exit the Irish market, closing its 34 stores here, with the loss of 580 jobs.

The group said it intended to close all its Argos stores and operations in Ireland at the end of June.

Sainsbury's purchased Argos, which sells toys, technology and consumer electronics, for £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2016.

UK Strategy

Its strategy in the UK has been to close most standalone Argos stores, while opening outlets within Sainsbury's supermarkets.

However, the group does not have supermarkets in Ireland.

"Argos concluded the investment required to develop and modernise the Irish part of its business was not viable and that the money would be better invested in other parts of its business," it said.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said Argos's exit from Ireland had nothing to do with Brexit.

Gradually Winding Down

Following today’s announcement, Argos will begin the process of gradually winding down its Irish business.

As part of this, customers in Ireland will no longer be able to pay for orders via the Argos website or place orders via its home delivery service after 22 March 2023.

Orders placed up to this date will continue to be fulfilled and customers will still be able to reserve products online and pay for them in store until the point of business closure.

Staff Benefits 

The group said Argos workers in Ireland would benefit from an enhanced redundancy package going beyond its statutory obligations.

The Mandate Trade Union expressed its disappointment at Sainsbury's decision.

Last week Sainsbury's, whose shares have fallen 18% over the last year, reported better-than-expected Christmas trading.

News by Reuters, additional reporting and edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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