Mayor Tierney said Eason & Son is a very popular store and an important anchor tenant for the local Foylside Shopping Centre and any proposal to close it would be detrimental to the local economy.
He said his main concern was with the staff employed with the company and reassured them that he would do all he can to make representations on their behalf.
Mayor Tierney, encouraging the staff to participate in the consultation process undertaken by the company to look at options, said he would be writing to the Minister for the Economy and the management of Eason asking them to bring forward solutions to protect the store and its staff.
He said: “This is devastating news, particularly for the staff, but also for the people of the North West who frequent the shop on a regular basis.
“Eason is a very popular shop for people of all ages and interests, and I will be doing all I can as Mayor to see if the decision can be reversed and the jobs protected.
“I will be seeking an urgent meeting with Derry Trades Council and the management at Easons to discuss this serious issue and will be writing to the Minister for the Economy to see what solutions are available.
“We are facing an uncertain and difficult period as we attempt to recover from COVID-19.
“Our local businesses and, in particular the retail and hospitality sector, face a lot of challenges and it is important that Government, in partnership with key stakeholders and Council, do all they can to provide support businesses as they reopen and prepare for recovery.
“My thoughts are with the workers at Easons at this time but I want to reassure them that every effort will be made to reverse the decision and protect their jobs,” he added.
Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said it was “incredibly sad news”.
“Eason & Son was a household name and a hugely respected local business, and its closure is a loss to our retail sector,” he said.
“It’s not just the loss of the business – it is the reduced footfall for the surrounding traders located beside its seven stores that we also have to factor in.
“Our retail sector and town centres face a long road back and we need the Executive to bring forward a big, bold recovery plan to help create 21st century high streets and to support and grow our local retail sector.
“Our thoughts are with the 144 employees and their families at this challenging time.”Tags: