Hughes & Hughes Enters Receivership: 225 Jobs Lost

Hughes & Hughes with Notice

The Receivers Notice on the door of Hughes & Hughes Dun Laoghaire

UPDATE: SATURDAY 27th February: DAA Confirms That Dublin Airport Stores Remain Open Today

Irish Bookshop chain Hughes & Hughes has gone into receivership this evening, according to a statement issued by the firm.

The company employed 225 staff – all have been laid off.

Hughes and Hughes, which was set up in 1984, had 13 stores including shops in Dublin, Cork and London City airports. It also traded via its website.

The company cited collapsing consumer demand, the sterling exchange rate, the ‘revolutionary wave’ of internet competition and the decline in passenger numbers through Dublin and Cork airports, according to a statement. It also said that its inability to re-negotiate its rents was a factor.

In 2008 the Irish consumer book market peaked at €165m, according to Nielsen BookScan before falling 5.4% in 2009 to €156.5m. However industry figures challenged Hughes description of ‘collapsing consumer demand’ pointing out that sales were up in volume terms, the number of units sold, by 4.4% year on year in 2009.

Hughes and Hughes says it has invited Ulster Bank Ireland Ltd to appoint David Carson of Deloitte as receiver.

In recent years Hughes and Hughes, which described itself as ‘Ireland’s fastest growing and dynamic book retailer’ had quickly expanded its operations.

In late 2008, Hughes and Hughes opened a two-floor bookstore in the Dundrum South section of the Dundrum Town Centre. Two year’s earlier it opened a 13,000 sq ft store on Marine Road in Dun Laoghaire.

There had been reports that the firm was looking to expand further into the UK book retail market. In April 2007, the Irish Independent reported that Hughes and Hughes had announced its interest in taking over some of Borders UK stores, which never materialised.

Full Statement is below

Hughes & Hughes Receivership Statement