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Sainsbury's says Argos to exit Ireland, close 34 stores

Illuminated signage is seen at a branch of the Sainsbury's supermarket in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British supermarket group Sainsbury's said on Thursday its Argos general merchandise business will exit the Irish market, closing its 34 stores there and impacting 580 jobs.

Sainsbury's purchased Argos for 1.1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) in 2016. Its strategy in the UK has been to close standalone Argos stores, while opening outlets within Sainsbury's supermarkets. However, the group does not have a supermarket presence in Ireland.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by William James)