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US private equity firm buys landmark Dublin department store
Image: Wikimedia Commons
For the second time in its history, iconic Dublin department store Clerys has been bought out of receivership.
For the first time in its history, the business is not owned and run by an Irish family.
American private equity firm Gordon Brothers made the purchase official this morning, saving almost 350 jobs at the O'Connell Street shop.
However, its sister shop - Guineys on Talbot Street - as well the Clerys home furnishing stores in Leopardstown, Co Dublin and Naas, Co Kildare will be wound up with the loss of 29 jobs.
Headquartered in Boston, Gordon Brothers was established in 1903 and has experience in the retail sector. It was involved in the liquidation process of the Borders Goup and CompUSA in the United States in the past number of years.
CEO of the company's European arm, Frank Morton, says they are committed to revitalising Clerys:
The iconic Clerys department store has, for generations of Irish people, been an important feature of Dublin retail life and Gordon Brothers is committed to re-vitalising its fortunes.
Today’s announcement will facilitate Clerys to make a fresh start. We are acutely conscious of and respectful towards its heritage and tradition.
We will invest in the store and look forward to working with the management, staff, concessionaires and suppliers to review and improve operations, to significantly enhance the offering to customers and build on the many excellent features of the store.
Clerys was established in May 1853 as 'The Palatial Mart' - one of the world's first department stores.
It was bought and renamed Clerys in 1883 before changing hands again in 1941, when Denis Guiney purchased the business out of receivership for IR£250,000.
Image: Jaqian on Flickr
The large clock which hangs above its front door is a Dublin landmark - and has been used as a rendez-vous point for Irish people in the city for decades.
The other Guineys shops on Dublin's Talbot Street and those in Cork, Waterford, Tralee, Limerick and Castlebar are operated by Michael Guiney and are unaffected by this morning's announcements.
Take a look inside Clerys as it appeared in 1932: