Argos set to close in summer

Portadown’s High Street Mall is set for another body blow, with the Argos store closing in the summer.

The store is one of the first ‘victims’ of the rationalisation plan, after the 700 UK Argos stores were taken over by Sainsbury’s last September in a £1.4bn deal.

A spokesperson from Argos headquarters in Milton Keynes stated, “We can confirm that the Argos store in Portadown will close this summer.

“We are currently in discussions with colleagues and where possible, will look to relocate them to other stores.”

There are thought to be more than 20 jobs affected.

It’s the latest retail-business shock in the Mall in particular, and Portadown in general.

Argos was one of the original stores to sign up for what was originally the Irwin Centre, which opened in the late 1990s, replacing the former Irwin’s Bakery, now at Carn.

But trading has been tough, with opposition from Rushmere and from on-line shopping.

Firms like Mothercare, Internationale. New Look and Dunne’s grocery department have shut up shop. And the latest blow in Portadown generally is the pending closure of the town’s branch of the First Trust Bank.

Argos and the Sainsbury chain are running successful operations at Rushmere, which compounds the town’s retailing problems.

The Mall management was not available for comment.