What’s happening on Pana?
So over the past 2 months Patrick Street like the rest of the city has closed down and unfortunately, the biggest store on Patrick Street has become the first casualty of COVID19. I think we all knew that things were going to get a little tough and there was a storm coming that we would have to ride. But never did I think Debenhams would be one of the first to go.
I would like to say at this stage to every Debenhams worker up and down the country that we are all so sorry to hear what has happened to you. As a former Debenhams worker myself I know a lot of people personally who are affected by this. These people are indeed people not just a number like some of the media would have us believe. These amazing people have families, mortgages, loans. They are supporting family members. Many have given decades to working for this company, or Roches Stores beforehand. I used to work in the Tralee store. It was my very first proper full-time job when I left school. And I enjoyed working for them. We were like a big family and whenever I head home to Kerry I always bump into someone I used to work with in Roches. (It was Roches when I started and Debenhams when I left) But I met someone very special to me in that job and she is still one of my best friends to this day. So to say Debenhams had a big impact on my life would be an understatement.
As a kid, we always used to come up from Kerry at Christmas and do our Christmas shopping in the city. Parking in Merchants Quay and the first store would be Roches. I was always mesmerised by the size of it as we didn’t have anything like that in Kerry. The staff was always super friendly. Even 9 years ago when I moved to Cork, Debenhams would always be a store I would visit. Now to be honest I wouldn’t shop too often in Debenhams as I did find their prices on the high side but I always used to love looking around. So to hear it’s gone and that all those amazing people have lost their jobs is truly devastating. Obviously, we don’t know what exactly happened and neither does the staff. But companies must remember that those numbers are people, they are human beings with lives. Don’t walk away and not pay! But what will now happen to the biggest store on Pana, ideally I would love to see the Roches reopen it and rebrand it back to Roches Stores and hire all those amazing people again. That would be a great story to come out of this awful awful situation.