Pamela Scott is to close 12 of its 24 stores, resulting in the possible loss of 104 jobs, in a move to secure the future of the Irish fashion chain. 

The company said the closures are in response to changes in retail trading, largely as a result of Covid-19.

The High Court has appointed provisional liquidators to the two related companies, Arzac Developments and Richard Alan & Co, which operate the stores around the country. 

The Pamela Scott shops being closed are Grafton Street, Frascati Centre, Swords and Blanchardstown in Dublin and Cork City, Limerick Crescent, Tralee, Carlow, Sligo, Dundalk, Gorey and Nenagh. 

The shops at Clonmel, Mullingar, Castlebar, Waterford, Newbridge, Wexford, Ennis, Letterkenny, Middleton, Athlone, Navan, Kilkenny will remain open.

The company's online business, pamelascott.com, will also be unaffected by the restructuring.

It said the restructuring will mean 104 staff may be made redundant subject to a collective redundancy process, but Pamela Scott said it is confident it will secure the jobs of the remaining 90 employees.

Richard Barron, managing director of Pamela Scott, said it was devastating to have to close shops and in particular to have to say goodbye to so many employees, some of whom have been working for Pamela Scott for decades.

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"Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and we feel this is the very best way of protecting not just one of Ireland's oldest and largest fashion chains, but the livelihoods of our remaining 90 employees," Ricard Barron said. 

"When it comes to high-street retailing in general, and fashion in particular, you have to adapt or face extinction. Pamela Scott has repeatedly adapted both to changing customer tastes and to changing market conditions," he said. 

"We are confident that this restructuring will allow us to continue to bring the very best of Irish and international fashion to our Irish customer base for many years to come," he added. 

The company also said that gift vouchers, credit notes, loyalty cards and deposits will be unaffected by the closures regardless of where the vouchers were purchased.

The managing director of Pamela Scott said that Covid-19 impacted the fashion chain's turnover by between 40-70%, resulting in the decision to close 12 of its 24 stores. 

Richard Barron told the Claire Byrne programme that there was "a lot of emotion and tears" from staff and managers across the stores, both the 12 closing and those that will remain open. 

Mr Barron said that he and his three brothers informed staff of the clsures, adding that it was extremely difficult to close its Grafton Street store as his father had opened it in 1976. 

He said that business was down by 70% this year in the Grafton Street store and apart from Brexit concerns and extreme weather events, Covid was "the common denominator" behind the decision to close the 12 shops. 

Mr Barron said his father has mixed feelings to see the flagship store close, but remains determined that all can be done to preserve the future of the Pamela Scott business in the other stores and online. 

While, the Government had "done a good job" with the subsidies and grant schemes, Richard Baron said "there is no free money when sales are down by between 40-70%. 

He said the wage subsidy scheme was of great benefit to Pamela Scott, but the reduction in it was quite painful.