Consumer spending bites as Debenhams close in Jervis St

According to tomorrow’s Times Debenhams are to close their Jervis St shopping centre unit and lay-off all 100 staff. The first of many as the fall in consumer spending bites?

I dont know that this is a sign of reduced consumer spending. Debenhams has another store on Henry St, within a stones throw of the one theyre closing. It used to be Roches Stores. So its more like a consolidation, of two stores into one.

That’s a surprise, I remember reading that the M&S stores in Dublin were amongst the top performers in the entire group so I’d have assumed the other multiples would have been similar.

They bought Roches Stores, so have rebranded the massive store across the road as Debenhams (which has just completed a huge overhaul, adding quite a bit of new floor space). Why keep on a tiny store in Jervis as well?

But they are laying off rather than redeploying the staff. That’s an overall contraction.

It matters whether they are laying them off or letting them go: in Ireland “lay-off” means you are still an employee, although you may not be working and may be entitled to claim social welfare. Layoff is a temporary limbo situation where a person is still officially on the employer’s books, and not entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.

In other countries, being laid off seems to mean being made redundant, but that isn’t how it works in the aul’ sod.

So if Debenhams were really laying them off instead of letting them go, they might have a hope, however slim, of getting back to work.

Never heard that distinction before… :confused:

That would mean that if a “laid-off” person finds another job he could be said to have left his previous employment voluntarily.

Employers could use this lay-off mechanism to encourage people to leave the company, thereby saving themselves redundancy payments.

Has consumer spending in Ireland really dropped that much? It certainly doesn’t seem to have on the surface. London in the weeks before Christmas was quite frighteningly quiet. Less than 2 weeks before Christmas I was in a shopping centre in Covent Garden and I counted 6 shoppers in the whole place, there were more people around the Apple Market but very few people were carrying bags. Less than a week before Christmas I was in the main HMV on Oxford St and when I went to buy a dvd there were more sales assistants than customers.

I had been expecting Dublin to be similar but 2 days later I couldn’t get into HMV on Grafton St. It didn’t seem any quieter than any Christmas in the past.

Competition from the USA (weak dollar), christmas shopping, also many stores starting to be spread too much, thus thinning out the crowds.
I was in the Jervis St, Debenhams store before Christmas, place was quiet had no problem getting served. Makes no sense for them to have two stores on the same street within spitting distance of each other, especially when the former Roches Stores has better frontage.

I agree. I always thought that when they bought the roches stores place that they were going to be selling up the old place.

I’d say a bigger sign of any trouble with consumer spending would be if a new equivalent tenant can be found to take their space who has confidence in our market.

Debenham’s share price since their 2006 launch at £1.76 has taken a hammering over this year’s poor xmas performance and is now trading at about half their launch price.

Apparently Arnott’s are going to take over the Jervis Centre space while their own store is being redeveloped.

a thought occured to me over christmas. could the rise in last minute footfalls be because people hadn’y got the spare cash to shop earlier and so where a bit more reliant on christmas bonuses / double wages etc?

or am I being too pessimistic there?

I was thinking along similar lines - perhaps it could also reflect a combination of pragmatically holding out for further sale reductions or, what I thought more likely, the cracking and collapse of any resolve to keep the Christmas spend down as the cutoff approached. There did seem to me to be an inordinate amount of last minute shopping going on. And I’m a veteran…