The end of an era is approaching with the closure date now confirmed for the Dunnes Stores outlet in Portadown.
After much speculation, it can now be reported that the retailer will cease trading in the town at the end of next week.
And 50 staff will lose their jobs when the axe falls.
There had been some speculation that workers could be relocated or offered the opportunity to stay on at a different location.
But any such hopes have been dashed.
The store had threatened closure in the summer of 2015, but the company decided just to keep the clothing end in situ after a last minute u-turn.
Now next Friday, August 4 will see the shutters finally coming down on the entire Dunnes Stores enterprise at the High Street Mall.
It will see the withdrawal of the popular retailer from the town after almost 40 years.
Staff were told a week ago that the closure was imminent.
They have also now been informed that there are no other vacancies available at other Dunnes Stores outlets – which includes Newry, Craigavon and Lisburn – which could have offered a lifeline and saved their jobs.
The decision is a further blow for Portadown and for the High Street Mall in particular.
Two other big names are also out.
Argos closed on Friday and Intersport House of Sport is to leave the Mall in mid-September as part of a £250,000 superstore ‘merger’ at Rushmere Shopping Centre.
The move will create around 12 new jobs and the shop, one of 15 new Intersport concept stores across Europe, will be the first in the UK. It is set to open at the start of October in the former Internacionale unit.
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