Marks and Spencer is to close four stores in Ireland with the loss of almost 200 jobs.
The M&S stores in Mullingar in Co Westmeath and in Tallaght in Co Dublin, and the M&S Simply Food shops in Naas in Co Kildare and in Dun Laoghaire in Co Dublin, are to cease trading on August 17th.
The closures will result in the loss of 180 jobs out of the retailer's 2,800 Irish workforce.
The British owned company says following a strategic review, it took the decision to shut down four of its 20 sites, which the retailer says are unprofitable.
It represents a further blow to the retail sector in Ireland, as Marks and Spencer is the latest high profile company to close operations here.
Jonathan Glenister, the Head of Marks and Spencer Ireland, says "the last few years have been very challenging" and the outlook has not improved so it had to act "to protect the long term good of the company."
He says the retailer is now "closely engaging with union Officials from Mandate and SIPTU", and he says that despite today's annoucement, M&S remains "fully committed to it's Irish business."
Marks and Spencer says it plans to open a new flagship store in Limerick city in 2016, subject to planning consent, which would create 250 new jobs.