Argos stores in Blackpool and Mahon will close in June.

Argos announces closure

British catalogue retailer Argos has announced it will close both its remaining Cork stores this summer as part of a national shutdown.

All 34 Argos stores in Ireland are to close by the end of June with the loss of 580 jobs, with workers union Mandate saying they are ready to “engage intensively” with the company to get the best possible deal for the workers.

In Cork, Argos stores in Mahon and Blackpool will close their doors less than 3 years after the Argos store on the Grand Parade in the city centre ceased operations.

Socialist Party TD Mick Barry called for Argos’ “books to be opened” for inspection by workers' representatives.

He said: "The books should be opened to inspection by workers' representatives and let society see whether these redundancies are necessary or not."

Also expressing concern was Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould who described the news as an “incredible blow” for the workers, their families, their communities, and for the retail sector in Ireland.

The Cork North Central TD said: “This will be a huge loss in both Blackpool and Mahon. As it is the company’s intention to shut down its complete operations, this amounts to a collective redundancy which requires a 30-day consultation period.

“It is essential that the company engages quickly and in good faith with the workers' trade union, Mandate, during this period.

In a statement released this morning, Mandate Trade Union expressed its disappointment at Argos’s decision, with Mandate official Michael Meegan promising the union will do all it can for the staff being made redundant.

“Today is a difficult one for Argos’s staff here in Ireland as they get the news that the company will be closing down here. We will be using this period to negotiate the best possible terms for those who are losing their jobs and we are expecting a constructive response from the company,” he said.