Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has closed all its stores in Ireland with immediate effect.
The company said that the move, which is expected to put 486 jobs at risk, is part of a broader transformation of its parent company, Dixons Carphone.
Last March, all standalone Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK closed, resulting in almost 3,000 redundancies.
The company operates 69 standalone stores in Ireland and 12 outlets within other stores.
It has cited a significant decline in footfall and few new contract sign-ups as reasons for the immediate store closures.
Over the last year, Carphone Warehouse saw a drop in footfall of more than 40% in Ireland, with 25% more of its customers in the country buying SIM-free handsets.
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In a statement, the company said: “Customers are changing the way they buy mobile devices and connectivity, replacing their handsets less often and buying them separately or as part of more flexible bundles.
“Although these changes in behaviour were anticipated, they were expected to occur over a longer period of time. The change in shopping behaviours has, however, been accelerated by the pandemic.
“We will continue to help our customers via our central customer support team, and will also ask colleagues to provide operational support over the coming days.”
The company will continue to serve its Irish customers services through Currys PC World stores and at Currys.ie.
Customers who have bought phones from the retailer on post-pay or prepaid contracts will have their services continue as standard.
The move will not affect Currys PC World Ireland, which is also owned by Dixons Carphone.
Earlier this year, Vodafone ended its involvement with Carphone Warehouse in Ireland.
Irish telecommunications company eir was also reported as being in discussions with Carphone Warehouse about the future of the two companies’ sales relationship.