The Pepe/ Gasoline fashion store in Athlone Towncentre shut its doors this week following the closure of parent company Pepe Ireland.
The closure of six Pepe stores across the county, including the outlet in Athlone Towncentre, was announced earlier this week. The Athlone store was recently renamed as Gasoline, but remained one of six outlets in Pepe’s Irish franchise.
The company blamed high rents in ‘boom-time’ shopping centres for the closure, saying it was impossible to remain in business due to spiralling rent and other costs, combined with falling sales.
Owner Sunil Shah claimed that several shopping centres which were built during the boom are charging unrealistic rents.
A total of 36 jobs have been lost across the stores in Athlone, Dundrum, Drogheda, Dundalk, and Whitewater in Newbridge.
The company intends to appoint a liquidator, and will continue to sell Pepe clothing through other outlets.