2,000 jobs are set to be lost at Debenhams after it announced the Irish arm of its business is to enter into liquidation.
The department store has 11 shops across the country.
The company suspended trading due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has issued a letter to staff which says that “that these stores are not expected to reopen.”
John Douglas, Mandate General Secretary, said this is the first major casualty of the COVID-19 emergency:
"This news has come as a massive shock to our members who will be devastated by this announcement. Our sympathy is with each and every worker and their families who will today be wondering how they’re going to pay their rent, mortgage or their bills.”
Douglas says he's certain Ireland will see more turbulence across the economy, particularly in retail.