Two Peats stores to re-open in Dublin

23 Apr 2012

Dublin city

Dublin electronics store Peats will reopen a store on Parnell Street and one in Rathmines, the company has announced. The retailer avoided being closed down after re-evaluating its options and said it received support from its customers and suppliers.

In a statement on its website, Peats said it presented a petition before Mr Justice Charleton at the High Court in Dublin this afternoon for the appointment of Neil Hughes of Hughes Blake Chartered Accountants as examiner for the business.

Last month, Peats said it would go into liquidation, closing 11 of its stores and cutting 75 jobs.

This was due to the impacts of recession, high rent costs and online competitors affecting high-street retailing, meaning the stores could not continue trading. Sixty per cent of Peats’ annual sales were made during November to January, meaning the retailer would struggle to continue through the summer months.

However, Peats said it received goodwill and understanding from its suppliers and customers, which made it reassess its stock, debts and liabilities. As a result, it was able to make alternative solutions.

Peats will re-open its flagship store on Parnell Street and its website on 28 April. The retailer reopened its Rathmines store earlier today. It rehired 25 of its former staff who will be redeployed across these two stores by the weekend.

The retailer said its re-establishment is ‘the best option’ to help it deal with its liabilities while offering a chance to become viable in future.

Peats will host a re-opening sale which will start in its Parnell street store on 28 April from 11am. It will also begin online trading from lunch time on Saturday during this sale. All gift cards, credit notes and warranties from the store prior to its closure will be honoured.

Chairman Ben Peat’s reaction

“It is with great joy that we make this announcement. Earlier this month I believed that Peats had reached the end of the road as the changing marketplace and higher rents put unsustainable pressure on our business,” said Ben Peat, chairman of Peats.

“However, I can only describe as ‘phenomenal’ the reaction that we received after we made the closure announcement. In particular, the flexibility of our staff, our suppliers and other creditors has allowed us to re-evaluate and re-design our business model to establish a lower cost model for future operations,” he said.

Peat said the reopening of these two stores will let it sell stock from its other closed stores while also reducing its redundancy outlay. It hopes it will operate as a much leaner business.

“In this way, with a lower cost base and a restructured business I am confident that we can deal with our liabilities, trade back to profitability and keep the Peats ’World of Electronics’ name on the high street in Dublin,” said Peat.

“I’m also delighted that we can give this second chance to some of our employees, who I consider to be like extended family. Sadly, we cannot employ all of our staff but their reputation for excellence has already helped a number of them find alternative employment with other retailers.

“I also have to thank the thousands of Peats’ customers who expressed their sadness and disbelief on the closure and extended good wishes to me and my family both directly and indirectly. Their kind words and support were a major factor in giving us confidence and belief that the core values that we hold dear still matter to consumers,” he said.

Brigit and William Peat established Peats on Parnell Street, Dublin, in 1934. It initially sold wet cell batteries, bicycles, furniture and prams. It moved into electronics, beginning with selling radiograms and then offering three-in-one hi-fi systems before moving into a broader range of electronics. All six of Brigit and William Peat’s children joined the business and their youngest son, Ben Peat, is now the chairman.

“Three generations of the Peat family have worked in the business up to its closure. With an on-going family involvement and some fresh investment, I intend to drive the business forward while retaining the ethos and character of the business that made it a household name in Dublin,” he said.