Irish department store Clerys was shut suddenly on Friday shortly after being bought by a team led by Irish investor Deirdre Foley’s D2 Private.

The retailer ceased trading and KPMG were appointed as liquidators in a move that led to 460 people immediately losing their jobs, according to The Irish Times.

The closure reportedly came hours after Clerys’ US owner Gordon Brothers sold the business to a joint venture called Natrium, comprising Irish investment group D2 Private and Cheyne Capital Management, for an undisclosed price.

Despite the surprise store closure on Friday the Clerys website appeared to operate as normal over the weekend. However, the website is now no longer working.

Ireland’s deputy prime minister Joan Burton has described the treatment of workers at the 162-year old department store as “absolutely despicable”.

Sources told The Irish Independent that the new owners hope to refurbish the site of the department store to develop space for large retailers and office and leisure facilities.