Q Radio News
Book and stationery retailer Eason has told employees it will not be reopening its stores in Northern Ireland.
Its seven shops in the region - employing 144 staff - have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said: "The announcement follows a detailed review of the stores in Northern Ireland in the context of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on current and future trade and the implications of a number of other significant factors on the future prospects and sustainability of the business in Northern Ireland."
Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI, said it was sad news.
"Eason & Son was a household name and a hugely respected local business, and its closure is a loss to our retail sector.
"It's not just the loss of the business - it is the reduced footfall for the surrounding traders located beside its seven stores that we also have to factor in.
"Our retail sector and town centres face a long road back and we need the Executive to bring forward a big, bold recovery plan to help create 21st century high streets and to support and grow our local retail sector."