Saturday 22 October 2016

Concession-owners 'disgusted' as Clerys payments are delayed

Louise Hogan , owner of Nail Zone , a former concession owner at Clerys
Louise Hogan , owner of Nail Zone , a former concession owner at Clerys

CONCESSION-holders at the former Clerys store say they are "disgusted" after being booted out of the building.

Some of the 50 business-owners were allowed back into the store to take their stock, accompanied by security representing the liquidator KPMG.

Clerys closed last week after US Company Gordon Brothers sold it to Irish-led consortium Natrium Ltd and the company that ran the business was put into liquidation.

The move led to the loss of 130 jobs among workers employed directly by Clerys. Another 330 worked at the concession outlets in the department store.

The concession-holders claim they are owed between €2m and €3m by OCS Operations Ltd, which ran the department store.

Two owners of concessions told the Herald that they were due to receive the payments owed to them for the month of May on Monday, but it never happened.

Both Gordon Brothers and Natrium Ltd declined to comment last night.

Louise Hogan, owner of the former Nail Zone salon in Clerys - which had six staff - said her company's future is "unclear".

She said that she and other owners "were totally and utterly shocked" by the news that they had to pack up and leave.

She said she began to get phone calls when the news that Clerys had been put into liquidation hit the media.

"I'm disgusted by the way this was ruthlessly carried out," Ms Hogan added.

Martin O'Sullivan of Carpet and Rug said that he had taken a number of deposits from customers and that without the money he is owed he wouldn't be able to return the funds.

"My biggest concern is getting the money back," he said.

He said that the concession-holders have been treated as "collateral damage", adding that it was "shameful".

Meanwhile, Employment Minister Ged Nash has written to Natrium Ltd to explore the prospect of the re-employment of the up to 460 workers left without a job.

"This may be some consolation to the staff who have been treated so coldly over the past few days," Mr Nash wrote.

"Finally, I would request that you meet with the workers themselves and their trade union representatives.

"They have many questions and I believe it is the right thing to do," he added.

Trade Union Siptu are holding a protest outside the head office of D2 Private, the part-owner of Natrium, in Dublin today.

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