By Tríona Doherty
There was relief among staff and customers this week as it emerged that 12 jobs had been saved at the Monsoon store in Athlone Towncentre, after the Irish arm of fashion chain Monsoon Accessorize exited examinership last Friday.
And the shopping centre has further good news to report, as they revealed that Irish-owned ladies fashion chain Pamela Scott are preparing to open a store in the centre in the coming weeks.
The Athlone branch of Monsoon, which employs approximately 12 full- and part-time staff at its Athlone Towncentre store, was one of 11 stores in Ireland to be saved under a new survival plan for the company.
A total of 200 jobs were saved nationwide, in a deal which saw Monsoon’s parent company write off a debt of over €5.6 million and agree to invest in the business to secure its long-term future. However seven branches, including Monsoon Accessorize stores in Newbridge, Liffey Valley, and Waterford, and four Accessorize stores in Dublin, Cork and Limerick are to close.
The women and children’s fashion and accessories retailer had been in examinership since mid-March, and the popular Athlone store, located at Level 1 in Athlone Towncentre, had originally been earmarked for closure.
Speaking following the news that the Athlone store is to remain open, marketing manager of Athlone Towncentre, Shirley Delahunt, said there was relief among both staff and customers.
“Monsoon is a great store, and a great addition to the centre. There is always a good degree of uncertainty surrounding something like this, but Monsoon is a popular choice among shoppers here and I’m delighted we can still offer that service to our customers.
“There are a lot of local staff working in Monsoon, many of whom have been with us since the centre opened,” she added.
The next chapter for Athlone Towncentre will see Pamela Scott open a store in the centre. They are currently at fit-out stage and will open their doors in the coming weeks. Pamela Scott is an Irish-owned, family-run chain of ladies fashion stores, which is celebrating 41 years in business this year since they opened their flagship store on Grafton Street, Dublin.
Popular fashion chain A|Wear also recently opened a new store on Level 1 of Athlone Towncentre.