An Enniskillen business has entered the liquidation process because of a “difficult trading environment and increased costs".

Shuphoric Shoes located in Enniskillen town centre made the announcement that they will close on Saturday (September 3). The shop has operated in Enniskillen for 10 years.

The owner Patrick Conlon said: “As a consequence of a very difficult trading environment and increased costs, the business is no longer viable and will close this week. I have made every attempt to keep the business afloat amid recent disruption (Covid-19 pandemic) and other ongoing financial pressures but that has now come to an end.

"As you can imagine this is a very distressful and difficult time for everyone in the business, including staff and those customers who have been affected by this closure.”

Concerns were raised by some customers with this newspaper in recent days regarding the use of gift vouchers/credit notes within the shop before it closes.

The Impartial Reporter asked: “Can you outline why customers weren't able to use gift voucher/ credit notes while the shop was still operating, as claimed? Is there, or will there be, any avenue or arrangement for them to get the value for such vouchers?

Patrick said: “As the liquidation process is ongoing we are unable to comment further on the status of gift vouchers or credit notes at this time. But are directing those affected to leave their details and their claim will be handled when the liquidation process is concluded.

Further, it was noted some customer comments were disabled or hidden on social media.

Patrick said: “Please note that all our media outlets have been significantly reduced or fully suspended during the closing down process. These steps are necessary to ensure the well-being of the staff during this difficult time and to support the liquidation process. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.”

On the issue of insolvency gift vouchers, a paper release by the House of Commons advises the following: “When you buy a gift voucher, you enter into a contract. You give the retailer money in exchange for a promise to give you an equivalent amount in physical products in the future. Vouchers can become worthless if the retailer becomes insolvent, because they might not have any money to pay you back – but the exact outcome depends on the retailer’s situation.

“If the retailer goes into administration (and so tries to avoid collapse) it can continue to trade, but the administrator can and often will refuse to accept the voucher. If the retailer goes into liquidation (which closes it down) its assets will be distributed in accordance with a defined order of priority. Holders of gift vouchers rank as unsecured creditors, who are low on the list of priorities, so they often get little or nothing.”