Irish retail chain shuts 27 shops


Irish independent retailer 3G Mobile has gone into receivership, after negotiations to offload its chain of 27 shops fell through.

Around 150 staff have been made redundant.

Sigma Telecom is the exclusive distribution and fulfilment partner in Ireland of network operator Meteor, whose website was unable to take handset orders last week. Its website was directing customers to its customer service telephone department for advice on their mobile contracts.

A spokesperson said: “As of January 4, 3G Mobile stores have been temporarily closed, until discussions go ahead to reopen the stores.”

Its collapse, and the closure of 27 shops in prime retail positions in Ireland, asks serious questions of the future of Irish handset distributor Sigma Telecom, sister company of 3G Mobile.

3G Mobile is one part of the Sigma Group, which also runs distributor Sigma Telecom and sales operations trading antennas and two-way radios. Both 3G Mobile and Sigma Telecom are major partners for Meteor, which considered purchasing the retail chain.

A Meteor spokesperson said: “After careful consideration, investment in the 3G Mobile was deemed not to be a commercially viable option for
Meteor at this time.”

A Sigma spokesperson said the company had not been affected by the demise of 3G Mobile.

However sources claimed rival firm Radius is set to pick up the Meteor contract from Sigma.

3G Mobile connects Meteor, Eircom and 3, and also sells Apple computers and peripherals. Sources claimed Meteor had supported 3G Mobile through a difficult period, even considering a purchase.