THERE are growing fears for the future of Oasis stores in the city centre and in Mahon Point amid the continued impact of the Covid-19 emergency.
It has not been confirmed that the Cork stores will close, but there are reports that the high street retail chain is preparing to call in administrators.
The Oasis and Warehouse Group are expected to appoint Deloitte to run the process this week.
Mayor of Cork, John Sheehan, said there is fear among business, the council, and the general public over the possible closure of more city businesses in the coming months.
“It would be surprising, unfortunately, if there aren't more store closures, whether they’re retail stores, restaurants or pubs. This is having a huge economic impact for a lot of businesses and you would hope that they would all come out of it okay, but unfortunately there will be casualties as we’ve seen already."
“The closure of Debenhams was a huge blow to the city. I know the whole Irish chain went under, but it was a huge part of Cork and I think there’s going to be other ones obviously over the next couple of months that will just not come out of this period of time.
“We need to be, as a city, planning for recovery and how we’re going to manage that recovery over the next few months because there’s going to be more closures unfortunately,” he said.
Cork City South-Central councillor Fiona Kerins (SF) said that she does not think Covid-19 is to blame for the closure of certain businesses.
“This hasn’t even gone on long enough to be able to measure the damage and it’s not over yet, making it hard to judge the damage, so I don’t know how they can make a call now.
“Covid-19 didn’t close Debenhams. Debenhams has been in trouble for a long time so that was no surprise.
“A lot of retailers are in trouble and will possibly use this as an excuse.”
She said that the increase in people shopping online could save the city’s businesses that are deemed non-essential and who have had to close their doors for the duration of the pandemic.
“More people are shopping online now out of boredom. The likes of Pat McDonnell Paints and Woodies are now trying to start up online businesses because there’s money to be made and they’re trying to save their businesses,” she said.