Northern Ireland

Co Armagh retailer put into administration

A County Armagh retail business has been placed into administration and is being offered for sale.

The administrator was appointed to Crossmaglen-based Cloughvalley Stores (NI) Ltd last week.

The company trades as Quinn's superstore and petrol station. It is open and being sold as a going concern.

A sister business, which operated the Quinns superstore in Carrickmacross, was placed into receivership by Allied Irish Bank (AIB) earlier this year.

At one point that led to a stand-off when receivers arrived to change the locks on the premises.

The Quinn family accused AIB of taking an uncaring approach to small rural businesses struggling to survive in a recession.

AIB appointed the receiver to recover a debt of around 7m euros.

Cloughvalley Stores (NI)'s last accounts for the year ending December 2009 showed an annual loss of £138,000.

The firm's liabilities exceeded its assets by £2.7m. A Northern Bank mortgage is registered on the shop premises.

The independent retail sector in Northern Ireland has been under pressure due to weak consumer spending.

Government figures released earlier this month suggest that retail spending in Northern Ireland has fallen by nearly 10% over the last year.