SHAW’S department store in Mountmellick will not reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown.
The store in Parnell Street is sadly closing down permanently, after 157 years in business.
The Mountmellick shop has a special place in the proud history of Shaw’s, the family department store chain that famously became “almost nationwide”, as it was the first drapery store opened by Henry and Annie Shaw in 1864.
It is understood that there will be no job losses as a result of the closure, as staff are expected to be offered relocation to the Shaw’s store in Portlaoise, which is set to reopen on 17 May.
However, it is a devastating blow for business in Mountmellick, where the store has played a central role in the life of the town for generations. It was the first of 16 Shaw’s stores nationwide.
The company remains family-owned and current managing director, Jonathan Shaw, is among the fourth generation of the family to work in the business. The company employs almost 1,000 people.
The following timeline shows how Shaw’s expanded into towns and cities all over Ireland since its foundation in Laois:
- Mountmellick – 1864
- Portlaoise – 1890 (moved to new premises in 2013)
- Athy – 1915
- Waterford – 1941
- Carlow – 1949 (completely rebuilt in 2006)
- Roscrea – 1964
- Fermoy – 1971
- Limerick – 1973
- Dungarvan – 1976 (completely rebuilt in 1997)
- Wexford – 1976 (completely rebuilt in 2003)
- Dun Laoghaire – 1981
- Tralee – 1997
- Castlebar – 2006
- Drogheda – 2007
- Ballina – 2008
- Mullingar – 2016