Arnotts Holdings has issued a statement reassuring customers and staff that it is business as usual at the Dublin department store.

Arnotts' Northern Quarter plans shelved

The statement came after it emerged that the company has been placed under the control of Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster Bank.

Arnotts is struggling with debts of €300m.

The Mandate trade union, which represents almost 900 workers at the store, said it was extremely concerned for their future employment.

Mandate General Secretary John Douglas has said he will be seeking a meeting with representatives of Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster Bank.

Anglo Irish Bank has sought permission from the European Union to precipitate the move under EU rules.

A deadline of 9 August for objections to the move has been set.
Arnotts generated debts arising from a proposed €750m redevelopment of the five-and-a-half acre area surrounding the store.

The so-called Northern Quarter was to include a shopping, entertainment and residential district.

The retail management consultant and former Arnotts executive, Eddie Shanahan, has described the development as horrendously bad news.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he asked what the banks knew about retailing when questions are being asked about what they knew about banking.

Despite the understanding that no jobs are under threat, but Mr Shanahan expressed scepticism about the employees' future.