Northern Ireland-based department store chain Menarys has reportedly revealed plans to close three branches as coronavirus continues to affect operations.

The retailer, which currently operates 20 stores across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, did not confirm the stores that would be affected.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Inside Business, managing director Stephen McCammon said: “We are a business trading for 98 years and never in our history has there been anything quite like this.

“It’s been a very sad year and we’ve recently just entered consultation with staff in three branches which will regrettably have to close in the New Year because of Covid.”

The closure will result in job losses, but the retailer did not provide specific details.

McCammon added: “There will be quite a number of job losses as a result of that.

“We made this very clear to the executive whenever we were excluded from the multiple retail grant earlier on in the pandemic that would come at the cost of jobs.

“These guys in our teams are extended family and I can’t stress how difficult and how sad the year has been.”

“The critical thing, for now, is getting through December with as much trade as we can manage.”

Menarys closed more than 50% of its business in Northern Ireland due to the coronavirus related restrictions.

Earlier this month, Menarys opened its new 4,000ft2 store at Spires Retail Park, Armagh, Northern Ireland.