Carpetright has become the second high-profile UK retailer to close stores in Ireland over the past two weeks as retail sales continue to plummet in the country.
The floorings retailer will close seven of its 25 stores in the Republic of Ireland after its sales nose-dived by more than 50% in the past three years. The retailer said it saw no signs of recovery.
The move follows Clinton Cards decision to place its Birthdays Ireland chain, which operates 14 stores, into liquidation last week.
Ireland has experienced 34 consecutive months of retail sales decline. Retail Excellence Ireland chief executive David Fitzsimons said the situation was dire and showed no signs of revival.
He said: “The whole market has experienced a very aggressive decline. Sales across retail are down 30% over the past three years.
Fitzsimons said that 400 stores closed across Ireland in January and he expected even more in following months.
He said: “Unfortunately it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We’ve got low consumer confidence coupled with increased mortgage payments and political instability. We need the new government to help retailers rebase their costs.”
The new coalition government, whose leader was sworn in on Wednesday, has proposed to ban upward-only rent reviews in its manifesto.