Debenhams workers continue protest as premises goes on sale

Workers picketing outside the former Debenhams store which is now up for sale.

AS laid-off Limerick Debenhams workers marked 200 days on the picket line outside the company’s former premises on O’Connell Street, it emerged the property was being brought to the market with a €9 million guide price.
The workers have been blocking liquidators from taking stock from stores since last April on the grounds that a prior agreement with their former employer for four weeks pay per years service redundancy should be honoured.

Having served as the home of the UK retailer since its acquisition of the Irish-owned Roches Stores business in 2006, and prior to that as the historic location of McBirney’s Drapery Emporium, 134-135 O’Connell Street has been brought to the market by agent Cushman & Wakefield, the Irish Times reported this Wednesday.

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The property comprises a four-storey over-basement commercial premises with dual frontage on to O’Connell Street and Sarsfield Street – an area long been considered as the commercial core of the Treaty City.
Nearby occupiers include Penneys, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Brown Thomas and Bank of Ireland, all within a short walking distance of Cruises Street, and the proposed new city campus of the University of Limerick at Sarsfield Bridge, and Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre.
Prior to the recent closure of its Irish operations Debenhams, traded at 134-135 O’Connell Street from the basement through to the second floor, with storage and staff facilities on the third floor.

The property is said to be in good condition throughout with part-tiled, part-wooden flooring with suspended ceilings in the main and spot lighting.
The entire property extends to 6,699.5sq m (72,113 sq ft) with the ground floor specifically extending to 2,005.8 sq m (21,590 sq ft).
Karl Stewart, who is handling the sale on behalf of Cushman & Wakefield, said it was a unique opportunity to acquire a substantial prime commercial opportunity in the heart of Limerick city centre located adjacent to the city’s main international retailers.’
“The property is ideal for redevelopment or reconfiguration, and is suitable for multiple uses, subject to planning permission,” he added.