One of the country's largest bookshop chains, Hughes and Hughes, has gone into receivership, with the loss of 225 jobs.

In a statement, Hughes and Hughes said they had been operating in an environment of collapsing consumer demand.

They said the exchange rate differential with sterling, internet competition and the fall off in passenger numbers at Dublin and Cork airports where they have a number of outlets also contributed to their problems.

They also said an inability to negotiate sufficient retail rent reductions was also a difficulty.

A spokesman for Hughes and Hughes said that all staff had been laid off and the shops closed.

But the Dublin Airport Authority said that the five Hughes and Hughes outlets operating there remain open tonight and a meeting with the receiver is due to take place shortly.

It is not clear how many staff are employed at the airport, but the DAA say that those outlets are and always have been profitable.

Retail Excellence Ireland say the government must take urgent action on retail rents to prevent further closures.

Directors and management said they had invited Ulster Bank Ireland Limited to appoint David Carson of Deloitte as receiver to the company.

Hughes and Hughes has been in operation for around 26 years.