Around 130 staff members at Clerys department store in Dublin are to be made redundant following the appointment of joint provisional liquidators to the company that operates the store.
Speaking on RTÉ's Nine O' Clock news this evening John Finn, who has worked in Clerys for 43 years, said "after 43 years I didn't think it would end like this." He said he was "devastated" for his colleagues.
He said employees had been bluntly told they were out of work in a meeting this evening.
SIPTU Sector Organiser Teresa Hannick said over 400 employees will be affected by the closure.
Tomorrow trade union SIPTU will hold a meeting for its members who worked at the outlet at 11.30am at Liberty Hall.
Clerys was sold to real estate company Natrium Ltd for an undisclosed sum, while the High Court has appointed joint provisional liquidators to the company operating the outlet.
Natrium is a joint venture between D2 Private and discretionary funds managed by Cheyne Capital Management (UK).
D2 private is headed up by Irish business woman Deirdre Foley.
The department store was bought by OCS Operations, a subsidiary of private equity and investment company Gordon Brothers Europe, in 2012 after it went into receivership.
It had reported losses of €2m before entering into receivership.
A spokesperson for the liquidators said that Clerys ceased trading at 5.30pm this evening.
As well as the 130 people employed by the company, around 330 other people are employed by the 50 concession holders, who sold clothes and other goods in the store.
Mr Justice Paul Gilligan appointed insolvency practitioners Eamon Richardson and Kieran Wallace of KPMG as joint provisional liquidators of OCS Operations Ltd, which since 2012 has operated as Clerys.
The company, which petitioned the court for the liquidators appointment, told the Court it must immediately cease trading and close down to prevent any further debts arising.
locks being changed on back door of Clerys. The store has ceased trading and the workers told their jobs are gone. pic.twitter.com/0Pj9eaQ8AW— Helen Donohue (@Donohuereports) June 12, 2015
The court heard the company is unlikely to have sufficient monies to make upcoming payments, including ones due early next week, and is unable to pay its debts.
The appointments were sought after the group was sold to Natrium.
The High Court heard that following the sale Natrium removed OCS Operations from the Group and transferred the shares in the company (Operations) to insolvency practitioner Jim Brydie, Kingsmere Road, London for €1.
After appointing the provisional liquidators the judge adjourned the matter to a date in early July.
Clerys is one of Europe’s oldest purpose-built department stores, and it first opened in 1853 under the name of "The Palatial Mart".