Body blow to the retail sector as bookshop closes

IN ANOTHER devastating blow for the town centre, bookshop chain Eason announced last week it would not be reopening its Enniskillen store.
The news the store is to remain closed permanently, along with all Eason’s stores across the North, has been met with much dismay locally, not only because of the jobs that have now been lost, but because the closure leaves the county town without a single bookshop.
Local Cllr Tommy Maguire, pictured right, expressed his sympathy to the staff who have lost their jobs, and said the closure was “not just the loss of a single retail outlet, it’s the loss of a cultural outlet.”
Encouraging people to wear masks while shopping to keep each other safe, Cllr Maguire urged people to keep showing the strong community spirit of recent times and shop local.
“We must remember retail in general was under pressure before the outbreak of Covid, but Covid has certainly added major issues in retail and how it progresses in future,” he said. “The trend to online shopping certainly has impacted on footfall in shops, and again this was happening before Covid. Then we have just the Covid is the absolutely worst thing that could possibly have happened at this particular time.
“Now with the relaxations and thankfully the low small outbreak we’ve had in our district people are starting to go out again and hopefully will engage with local retail and give them the best support they possibly can, under the guidelines and using the best practices.”
Fellow Enniskillen town Cllr Paul Blake also urged people to support local business, and said “together we have to work collectively as a community to try to help businesses through these difficult times.”
Cllr Blake also said the loss of Eason’s was all the sadder as it was a bookshop. Recalling David Hall’s bookshop that had been there previously, he said the closure was devastating for many local people.
“It’s a changing industry alright, but you always need the presence of a somewhere you can get your books, your newspapers, your stationary supplies as well,” he said. “It’s a massive blow to the town and it’s not something you ever want to hear about.”

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