Shop takes a risk – and saves five jobs

The Paco clothes shop on High Street was relaunched on Friday as its five staff members push to give the store a second chance.

The Paco clothes shop on High Street was relaunched on Friday as its five staff members push to give the store a second chance.

“On the 13th of February we all got letters in the post giving us three weeks’ notice that the store was being closed,” said Mags Harkin, who had been the store’s assistant manager for the past year.

“The store was going to close; they said it just wasn’t feasible for them to keep it open,” she said, and the Paco shop in Carlow did close on the same day that the Kilkenny store was due to shut its doors.

“But I looked into it and talked to head office to find out whether it was possible to acquire a franchise of the store, which is what has happened now,” she said – which is how the shop has been operating since March 5.

With five people working there, Ms Harkin explained, “I said, ‘I’ll give it a go.’ I have worked in retail for a good few years and in these times let’s try to get local support so we can even break even with this.”

She acknowledged feeling nervous about taking on such a venture during a recession – “but everyone who has come in has been quite positive and delighted that it hasn’t closed down. It really depends on local support.”

“It’s risky but it’s a risk that we are going to take – and it’s good that we have a job,” she said. “We’re just taking it one day at a time.”