A LOCAL petition has begun in a bid to prevent the closure of Shaw’s department store in Mountmellick.
The online petition called ‘Save Our Shaws’, which was started by Edna Brazil, went live on the change.org site this afternoon and was signed by over 100 people in the first hour.
Confirmation today that the store in Parnell Street will not reopen after lockdown is a major blow for Mountmellick, where the shop has played a central role in the life of the town for generations.
The store also has a special place in the proud history of Shaw’s, the family business that famously became “almost nationwide”, as it was the first drapery store opened by Henry and Annie Shaw in 1864.
Over following generations, the Shaw family went on to open 15 further stores and the company currently employs almost 1,000 people.
It is understood that there will be no job losses as a result of the Mountmellick closure, as staff are expected to be offered relocation to the busy Shaw’s store in Portlaoise.
Launching the petition to Shaw’s Department Stores, Edna said: “Help us keep our Shaw’s Store open in Mountmellick. It was their flagship store and the community will be lost without it.”
Some of those who signed the petition expressed their shock and dismay at the planned permanent closure of the store, after 157 years in the town.
One person wrote: “Was gutted to hear this news. We need to save this business for everyone in Mountmellick. Crying shame for many reasons if it closes.”
Another commented: “Considering this is the first ever Shaw’s store, it needs to remain open. The town needs it.”
Another said: “I’d miss Shaw’s in the town. Great little shop and lovely staff.”
And one commenter said simply: “Mountmellick needs this shop.”