Retailer Harvey Norman has said that up to 45 positions may be affected in its stores nationwide as it closes its store in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, and ''reformats'' its Dundalk outlet store.

However, it also announced the opening of a new store in Blanchardstown shopping centre in Dublin, which will create 14 new full-time jobs.

Another 18 new jobs will be created in its stores around the country as part of expansion plans.

Harvey Norman said it is launching a new online initiative this autumn, which will create four new jobs.

The company employs 800 nationwide between its store network, technical and customer services and headquarters function.

It has a total of 14 stores in the Republic and two in Northern Ireland.

Harvey Norman said it was closing its Mullingar business due to high rents and prolonged vacancies in the Lakepoint Retail Park in the town, as well as the migration of shopping back to Dublin.

The store in Dundalk, as well as two shops in the North, will now focus on furniture and bedding.

The company said all product and services orders taken at the Mullingar store will be fulfilled. Customers who have paid for their goods and are waiting for delivery will have their orders completed in full.

In a statement, the Australian-based company said that Ireland is the only market in its global network in which it does not make a profit.

It has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Slovenia and Croatia.