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Christmas display at Clerys Mairead Maguire via The Journal
O'Connell Street

Clerys Christmas window display unveiled as council seeks to attract shoppers to city centre again

A new H&M store is to open in the landmark building in March 2024.

CLERYS ON O’CONNELL Street has unveiled this year’s Christmas window display as part of a programme of events that aim to encourage people to come into the city centre this season.

The historic former department store in the middle of Dublin’s main street has been empty for some time and was due to reopen before Christmas.

Half of the building is to be occupied by Swedish fashion giant H&M, which Dublin Town says will open for business in March 2024. 

The other half of the expansive space was earmarked for Flannels, a luxury menswear shop, but the lease was terminated earlier this year, resulting in a High Court dispute. 

Neither Dublin City Council or Dublin Town are aware of how the rest of the building will be used should it not be occupied by Flannels.

Unveiling the shopfront of the landmark building today, Lord Mayor Daithí de Róiste said the Clerys windows spark “nostalgia” for Dubliners.

IMG_6159 Lord Mayor Daití de Róiste with locals at the Christmas window unveiling Mairead Maguire Mairead Maguire

The event was part of a wider programme of festivities that the council hopes will encourage people to do their Christmas shopping in town. 

The council, in collaboration with Dublin Town, is using the hashtag #ibelieveinDublin to mark the events, which aim to “give people that confidence … to support their capital city”.

Just three weeks after the riots, the council is anxious to make the city centre a welcoming place once more.

Analysis by Bank of Ireland shows that the weekend following the riots, in-person card spending in the city centre was down 27% compared to the same time last year. It’s unclear whether this was a direct impact of the riots, or other circumstances such as the cost of living crisis.

“When a city undergoes any type of event like we’ve had, it’s important for us as leaders in the city to instill confidence in the city,” de Róiste told The Journal.

The Christmas trading period “represents between 35% and 40% of all trade that’s done in the city” each year.

In the next week, there will be pop-up performances from Latino, jazz and ukulele bands, as well as photo opportunities with sleighs and Christmassy characters.

A Light Procession is planned for Thursday evening, where glow-in-the-dark characters will parade from Henry Street from 4:30 and make their way over to the southside.

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