herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

'People loved coming here' - Boyers to close this week after over 100 years

From Sunday dinners with all the trimmings to unique clothing brands, shoppers and staff will carry fond memories of Boyers when it closes its doors this week
From Sunday dinners with all the trimmings to unique clothing brands, shoppers and staff will carry fond memories of Boyers when it closes its doors this week

From Sunday dinners with all the trimmings to unique clothing brands, shoppers and staff will carry fond memories of Boyers when it closes its doors this week.

On Sunday, it will become the second department store to stop trading in less than 12 months on North Earl Street.

Banners on the entrance to the shop this week read, "After more than 100 years we're saying goodbye and thank you", as its closing down sale wraps up.

The news came as a shock in September to staff when they were told the business would cease trading after an orderly wind-down. The loss of the store will leave 83 people - who were employed either directly or in concessions - out of jobs.

The shop is mere steps away from Clerys, which shut down in June last year with the loss of 460 jobs. The stores were considered to share a similar clientele, who are disappointed with the closure of another iconic Dublin shop.

"It's sad, I've been coming here since I was a child," Jacinta Newell (62), from Cabra, told the Herald.

"My mother used to bring us here to get the Clarks shoes for Communions and Confirmations.

"I'm just after buying a pair of shoes for my husband in there, but last week I bought a good coat for myself and got it reduced from €185 to €50.

"There is a great community here for the middle-aged and over. People would come in here for lunch and you could get three courses for €10. They do a great soup and brown bread for €3 as well. I see a lot of nuns in there having their lunch upstairs.

"People loved coming here in the community, so it's sad that it won't be here."

Ms Newell said there are fewer places to shop on Dublin's northside.

"Clerys is gone, too, so now the only other place is Arnotts," she said.

Kathleen and Tony Broughan, from Collins Avenue, came to say farewell to Boyers, and felt it would be a loss for a certain generation of shoppers.

"With Clerys out of the way now, it will be dearly missed," said Tony.

"We have shopped here for years. The staff are all helpful and nice. That means a lot to everybody.

Comfortable

"It is not too scattered and things are well laid out. That's important to this generation who know what they want - and most of the people shopping in Boyers would know what they want before they go in. There is nowhere else that does that."

It was a comfortable place for people to pop in for a browse or a cup of tea, according to Kathleen.

"Whoever has owned it we were well looked after," she said.

Members of the public remarked at the amount of people who had come in for one last browse among the rails.

Over the years the doors had also been graced by famous faces, including former President Mary McAleese, Senator David Norris and goalkeeping legend Packie Bonner.

This was because Boyers had become a "landmark" in the city centre, said Elsie Whelan (79) from Walkinstown.

"We would usually go to Arnotts as well, but first Clerys and now this is gone," she said.

"I didn't shop in Clerys much, although you might meet a fella there under the clock.

"In the closing down sale in Boyers nothing in there is cheap, the prices are still high."

Siblings Joe (74) and Anna (63) Maguire, from Cabra, were also disappointed with the sale when they visited it last week.

"It's very sad," said Joe. "I bought two ties, but they're not giving the stuff away either.

"I don't come here that often anymore, I usually go to shopping centres now.

Property

"I can't bring my car into town because you have to park so far away if you can get a space. You might have to go up to St Stephen's Green or try to get space on Parnell Street.

"I've got the old age pension card so I just come in on the bus and go to shopping centres."

After the store closes, its owners, Fitzwilliam Financing Partners, will seek to sell the property.

The decision came after the company failed to identify an operator to manage the store.

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