La Senza closes as concern grows for local businesses

La Senza in the Foyleside which is closing it doors.  (0301JB25)
La Senza in the Foyleside which is closing it doors. (0301JB25)

The Derry branch of La Senza is to close, leading to job losses of up to ten people.

The lingerie chain went into administration on December 23 and announced that it would be closing eighty stores throughout the UK and Ireland.

The company is to close four stores in Northern Ireland, including the branch in Derry, two in Belfast and one in Ballymena.

The ‘Journal’ understands that staff have been told very little about the planned closure but have been urged to make no comment to the media.

Countless retail jobs have been lost in Northern Ireland in recent weeks, with D2 Jeans and Barratts closing stores. However, the Derry branches of these clothing and shoe chains are believed to be remaining open.

Mothercare, Thorntons and HMV have also expressed concern about their future at a national level.

Manager of Foyleside Shopping Centre, Fergal Rafferty, told the ‘Journal’ that the closure of La Senza is “unfortunate” as the Derry branch “has been trading well”.

He said that Foyleside experienced 100% tenant occupancy over the Christmas period, unlike most shopping centres throughout the UK and Ireland.

Mr Rafferty added that the centre will see “the expansion of current retailers such as Top Man and Top Shop and expect to announce some new retail brands, for the city and the region in the coming weeks.”

City Centre Manager Jim Roddy also said the local La Senza branch had been trading well.

He added it was sad to see young local people in this city losoing their jobs because a company was not trading well nationally.

Mr Roddy said independent retailers were also facing a “very, very tough time and we must seek ways to get relief to help local shop keepers.”