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Flannels and H&M announce new flagship stores in Clerys Quarter

The two leading retailers will open new stores on the O’Connell street site later this year.

Image: Shutterstock/Dirk Hudson

RETAIL RETURNS TO Clerys Quarter with two major clothing distributors set to open their Irish flagship stores in the city centre later this year.

Swedish fashion giant H&M has committed to opening its largest city centre store on the O’ Connell Street premises while Frasers Group announced that the Quarter will host the first Flannels flagship store outside of the UK this morning.

Both stores will occupy 30,000 square feet each, with multi-brand retailer Flannels securing a 15-year lease on the property.

The redeveloped Clerys Quarter will accommodate numerous businesses and amenities, including 90,000 square feet worth of office space and a 213-bed, four-star hotel.

The premises will also offer a diverse range of food services, including a panoramic rooftop restaurant, which will house the latest venue from PressUp Group, and the newly refurbished Clerys tea rooms.

The redevelopment will pay homage to the former Clerys department store by preserving its most prominent historical features, including the colonnaded façade, internal staircases, columns and ceilings and the famous refurbished Clerys clock.

When speaking to The Journal, North-Inner City Councillor Janet Horner described the building as an “iconic structure on O’Connell street” and hailed its development as “hugely important” in the revival of the area.

“[O’Connell Street] should be our central boulevard of the city – it’s not. It’s a hostile street at the moment, it’s not a nice one to walk along,” she said.

“I hope that bringing in big retail will help revive the street and help bring [the Clerys building] back to life and a central part of Dublin”.

The development will create 400 new jobs upon completion in addition to the 750 construction jobs it is supporting during the works.

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Horner, a former employee of Clerys department store, welcomed the prospect of employment returning to the structure, adding that “the workers at Clerys were a huge part of what made [the store] iconic”.

Four hundred and sixty workers, including 130 employed directly by the retailer, lost their jobs with no notice in 2015 after the 162-year old department store was sold to Natrium, a joint venture led by Irish businesswoman, Deirdre Foley.

The landmark site was subsequently bought by Europa Capital in 2018 alongside local partners, Core Capital and Oakmount.

In a recent press release, Jason Oram, Partner and Fund Manager at Europa Capital said that the refurbishment of the former department store will “transform” the north-inner city into “one of Dublin’s premier destinations”, adding that the development of Clerys Quarter highlights the potential of the repurposing of pure retail assets for the future.

“Encouragingly, we are seeing signs of recovery in the leasing market since the start of the pandemic, and we are confident that Clerys Quarter’s location and fantastic transport links will lead to strong demand from further retailers, F&B occupiers and businesses alike,” he said.

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