Home News Sadness expressed at liquidation of The Health Store retail chain in Ireland

Sadness expressed at liquidation of The Health Store retail chain in Ireland

by Rachel Symonds
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Industry has expressed sadness following the news that The Health Store and GNC chain of stores in Ireland has entered liquidation.

It has been confirmed that Grant Thornton has been appointed as liquidators in the matter, which has been before the High Court in Ireland. Media reports confirmed that the provisional liquidators have been appointed by the High Court to businesses that operate 11 health food stores in the Leinster area.

The appointments were made in respect of GNC Well Ireland Unlimited Company, and the related THSD Unlimited Company, which has 86 full and part-time employees in Ireland. The businesses traded under ‘The Health Food Store’ brand in respect of 10 stores and as ‘GNC’ in respect of one store.

According to reports from breakingnews.ie, the High Court heard the Irish businesses have been loss-making in recent years and were deemed by its parent company as being unlikely to become profitable and commercially sustainable. Following a strategic review of the businesses, which had been supporting the firms by way of intracompany loans, the parent company decided it was no longer prepared to provide further financial support which the firms required in order to continue to trade.

Commenting on the matter, Alan McGrath, National Organiser at Health Stores Ireland, said: “Heath Stores Ireland is deeply saddened to hear of the sudden closure of The Health Store/GNC chain of stores. Our first thoughts are with the 86 highly trained, motivated and experienced staff who were, without warning, summarily removed from the business operations.

“This is also a blow to the wider health food sector and our concerns extend to the suppliers and brands who continue to support a viable and thriving industry. The challenges outlined by the outgoing owners, losses attributed to the pandemic, declining footfall, increased business rates, wage increases, VAT implementation on previously zero rated products and rising import costs face all health food retailers. While owner-run health food stores operate on a different scale and ethos than corporate owned chains, there are mutual interests regarding supply chains, brands, marketing support and training that may be impacted. Health Stores Ireland is committed to working for the benefit of the staff affected and supporting the sector. We hope an outcome will be found to preserve as many jobs as possible.”

Health Food Business approached Grant Thornton for comment and was awaiting a reply as this story went live.


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