The American business owners who have acquired Clerys are “excited” about their takeover of one of Dublin's most iconic department stores.

The O’Connell St department store was bought by Boston-based investment firm Gordon Brothers on Tuesday, in a deal estimated to be worth around  €14 million ($18 million).

The department store had been struggling to cope as a result of a significant decline in consumer spending in recent years.

"This sale will mean that all of the 147 Clerys employees who are based at the O’Connell Street store will transfer under Transfer of Undertakings law to OCS Operations Limited on existing terms and conditions of employment," said an OCS statement.

"The store will continue to trade on a 'business as usual' basis."

Despite the buy-out, two stores in the group; Guiney of Talbot Street and Denis Guiney Furnishings, will be liquidated.

Gordon Brothers Europe chief executive Frank Morton said that the firm "understands the history of Clerys and respects it."

“The iconic Clerys department store has, for generations of Irish people, been an important feature of Dublin retail life and Gordon Brothers is committed to re-vitalising its fortunes,” Morton said.

“Today’s announcement will facilitate Clerys to make a fresh start. We are acutely conscious of and respectful towards its heritage and tradition.”

“Clerys on O’Connell Street offers the current generation of shoppers a contemporary shopping experience featuring an impressive range of brands and products.

“Clerys and the sector in general have faced significant challenges in recent years, and changes will be required to bring the store onto a secure and sustainable footing.

“We will invest in the store and look forward to working with the management, staff, concessionaires and suppliers to review and improve operations, to significantly enhance the offering to customers and build on the many excellent features of the store.”

Gordan brothers will first aim to improve cash flow of the store by introducing more products  according to the Irish Independent.

Michael J Clery purchased the store in 1853 for £32,000 and opened it as one of the world’s first purpose-built department stores. A local draper, Denis Guiney acquired the building in 1941 for £250,000.