A Wexford toy store has gone into voluntary liquidation after 17 years in business.
Toymaster in Clonard Retail Park closed its doors last week after proprietor Tom Clifford decided to call in a liquidator following a prolonged downturn in business.
The shop operated successfully in Selskar for several years before moving to Clonard four years ago, but Clifford doesn’t believe the move was a contributory factor in the closure.
Seven jobs have been lost as a result of the closure. Customers who had paid deposits on Christmas toy orders have been contacted and had their money refunded, according to the owner.
Most of the debts accrued by the company are owed to toy companies and remaining stock will be sold by the liquidator to offset the deficit.
“Basically, over the past 12 or 18 months, business went on a downward spiral. Summer trade was down 50 per cent,” said Clifford, who also closed his eight-year old Toymaster shop in Weafer Street, Enniscorthy in February.
“I don't think it was the move. It was more to do with the economic times and increased competition, most retailers are struggling at the moment. People are watching what they are spending and toys are not top of the list.”
The shop’s proprietor said the decision to close was a difficult one to make. “It's disappointing. It's the end of an era for me, but ultimately you have no control over who comes through your doors or where people go to shop.”
Clifford added that he believed the influx of multi-national chains such as Tesco, Argos, Lidl and Aldi into Wexford had a huge impact on independent local business.