Around 2,600 retail jobs could be lost after Argos revealed it will end its operations in Ireland and Lloydspharmacy decided to close its branches in Sainsbury’s stores.

Argos will retreat from Ireland this summer, closing its 34 shops with the likely loss of 580 jobs.

Lloydspharmacy, which bought Sainsbury’s pharmacy business for £125m eight years ago, said it will close the 237 branches over the coming year. It is believed that around 2,000 roles could be affected.  

Argos, which is owned by Sainsbury’s, decided after a review that “the investment required to develop and modernise the Irish part of its business was not viable and that the money would be better invested in other parts of its business”. The retailer said it “operates a bespoke model in the Republic of Ireland that is significantly different to its [UK business]”. Argos’s business in Northern Ireland is not affected. 

Argos Ireland operations manager Andy McClelland said: “We understand this is difficult news for our customers and colleagues. As with any major change to our business, we have not made this decision lightly and we are doing everything we can to support those impacted. On behalf of everyone at Argos, I would like to thank our colleagues, customers, suppliers and partners for their support of our business.”  

Lloydspharmacy said its decision was “in response to changing market conditions” and that it is “exploring options for each individual branch”.