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Eason to relocate Cork store after selling premises to Ashley company

Books and stationery retailer Eason has sold its store on Patrick Street in Cork to a company connected with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, as part of a wider plan to relocate to a larger store in the city centre in 2021. Ownership of the store was held by Eason Holdings, which operates the retailer’s property portfolio. Eason Retail, a related entity that operates the network of shops, had 19 years left on its lease of the Patrick Street premises. The retail arm has negotiated an exit from the lease with the building sold to SDI (Cork) Ltd, an entity connected with Mr Ashley’s business empire.

Eason has told staff it plans to relocate the Cork shop to a purpose-built store, which is being sourced by estate agent Bannon. The staff will not be affected by the transition.

Leaseback deals

Last May, Bannon quoted €6.6 million for the Patrick Street property. This move is part of a wider drive by Eason to do sale and leaseback deals on some of its major properties. Eason opened the current 22,000 sq.ft store after acquiring the property from the ESB in 1986. Under the terms of the transaction, the retail business will continue to operate from the premises until next year.

Liam Hanly, managing director of the Eason Group said: “The sale of the Patrick Street property provides Eason with an opportunity to move to a new fit-for-purpose premises in Cork city centre that will meet the future needs of our customers and our employees. The decision is consistent with our strategy for growth for the business and responds to changing consumer behaviours in what is a very competitive and dynamic book market.”

Ciarán Hancock

Eason to relocate Cork store after selling premises to Ashley company