Oasis getting set to close doors at the Outlet centre

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UP to 12 people are set to lose their jobs with the closure of two units at the Outlet.

Oasis fashion boutique, one of the original stores at the Outlet since it opened in 2007, faces its final day of trading this Thursday.

And a few weeks ago Shoefair closed its doors at the centre.

Around 12 people in total are believed to be affected by both closures which have been linked to the recession and ongoing challenges facing High Street and out-of-town shops and businesses.

The closure of Shoefair, a branch of Donaghy’s successful town centre business, coincides with the closure of the Portadown branch of the business which trades under the name Michael Phillips Shoes.

Director Mr Michael Donaghy did not want to make a comment on the matter but confirmed the Outlet closure was a direct consequence of the economic downturn.

Shoefair at the Outlet had been trading for around five years and its closure affects around 10 members of staff, most of whom are believed to have been relocated or to have accepted offers of redundancy.

Donaghy’s Shoes flagship store in Newry Street, Banbridge, opened over 50 years ago and is now considered one of Northern Ireland’s largest shoe and sports stores, picking up several ‘Footwear Awards’, including Best Family Shoe Store and Independent Retailer of the Year.

Meanwhile, when contacted by the Leader yesterday (Monday), the manager at Oasis said seven employees were directly affected, with one person being relocated and the rest left looking for new jobs.

The closures will come as a further disappointment to management at the Outlet which was taken over by West Register (Northern Ireland) Property Ltd., a specialist property asset management company owned by the Ulster Bank, in 2011.

Despite several units closing at the £70 million centre in recent times, there have also been positive developments, including the recent opening of a new gallery and the expansion of W5 Lite.

A spokesperson for the Outlet said she had “no comment” to make on the matter.