More than 280 jobs are to go in the retail sector following announcements today by Marks & Spencer and Musgraves.

Marks & Spencer is to close four stores in Ireland, which will result in the loss of 180 jobs.

Musgraves has said 102 jobs will go at the Superquinn head office in Lucan in Dublin over the next 18 months.

The M&S stores at Mullingar and Tallaght and the Simply Food stores in Naas and Dún Laoghaire are to close in the coming weeks.

The company said the four shops were unprofitable and that the decision to close them came after a strategic review.

However, the company said a new M&S store is proposed for Limerick, with 250 jobs promised.

Head of M&S Ireland Jonathan Gleinster said the last few years had been very challenging, but that M&S remains fully committed to its Irish business.

He said the decision was a difficult one, but it was taken to protect the long-term good of the company.

The stores will trade until 17 August.

M&S will also close its DHL-run warehouse operation at its Mallusk, Co Antrim distribution centre.

The 114 people who work at the centre will be affected by the closure.

Meanwhile, Musgraves said its job losses are part of a strategy that will include the rebranding of all 24 Superquinn stores under the SuperValu banner.

The company said that none of the job losses will be on the shop floor, but are likely to be in the areas of HR, finance and marketing.

Musgrave Chief Executive Chris Martin said the job losses will be on both a compulsory and voluntary basis.

He also said the 24 Superquinn shops will remain open regardless of whether they are in close proximity to an existing Supervalu.

The name change from Superquinn to Supervalu will come into effect from February 2014