No eleventh hour reprieve for Derry’s Buncrana Road B&Q

The B&Q building at Buncrana Road, Derry. DER1315MC050
The B&Q building at Buncrana Road, Derry. DER1315MC050

DIY giant B&Q has confirmed that it is still in talks with staff ahead of the closure of its Buncrana Road store in Derry later this month.

The company confirmed to the ‘Journal’ this week that the the store will be shut down for good on January 23.

The planned closure of the popular Derry store was revealed back in April 2015, sparking widespread concern for the 50 local B&Q employees.

A B&Q spokesperson told the ‘Journal’ this week: “The B&Q Londonderry Buncrana Road store will close on 23rd January 2016. We are in the process of consulting with colleagues at the store.”

The Derry store is among five of the nine B&Q stores in Northern Ireland which parent company Kingfisher plans to close over the next few years.

The news came after the boss of parent company, Kingfisher, announced that she intended to close 60 stores in Britain and Ireland.

It is understood the others set to close in the North are located at Boucher Road in Belfast, Craigavon, Ballymena and Sprucefield.

At the time when it was announced the Derry store was to close, Foyle SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey and Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin led calls for the company to enter into negotiations with the staff. Speaking back in April, Pat Ramsey called on B&Q management to “enter into open and honest negotiations with these 50 employees”.

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Maeve McLaughlin, meanwhile said: “In the current climate any fear of job losses is a blow to the workers and their families and increases pressure on attempts to build economic stability.”

Speaking at the time Kingfisher chief executive, Veronique Laury said: “Home improvement is a great market with huge potential and Kingfisher has a strong position within it with further scope to grow in a sustainable way. However, it is clear to me that we need to organise ourselves very differently to unlock our potential.”