Barker & Jones: "We're staying in Naas"

Rumours dismissed

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Barker & Jones: "We're staying in Naas"

Barker & Jones, Naas

Barker & Jones, the only dedicated bookshop in Naas town centre, has dismissed rumours that the business is to close.

The shop has been the subject of closure speculation – as have a number of retailers in the town.

“Customers are coming into the shop saying this to staff members and it’s quite upsetting. I don’t want people to think the stories are true. We’ve no intention of closing the shop,” manager Kate Hayes told the Leader.

Ms. Hayes said negative stories do not do any favours to business and “we’ve ignored them as much as we can.”

Barker & Jones opened in Poplar Square (on the site of The Paddock pub) on July 1 2007. It currently employs 28 people, though this fluctuates with seasonal trading patterns. It also operates Barker & Jones School on Friary Road.

“It’s great pity that Donal’s (discount store) is closing; they’ve been in the town for so long. I hate to see any shops close. I wish people wouldn’t make up or repeat these stories. It doesn’t help,” added Ms. Hayes.

She added: “We can’t do anything about Naas Shopping Centre not opening or about the shopping centre in Monread. We have good customers and good products. The main street still succeeds in Naas.”

Barker & Jones is part of  an independent book shop company owned by a Co. Waterford family and has sister bookshops trading under different names in Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford.

It has a coffee shop upstairs in Naas (The Duck and Cup) and its range of books for children has been expanded as well as the cards and gifts section.

“The book trade is very strong, partly because people are going back to physical books, especially childrens’ books. We’re not moving out of Naas,” added Ms. Hayes.