Massimo Dutti for former HMV shop
Sister company of Spanish fashion giant Zara to pay rent of €1 million for top pitch
The former HMV on Grafton Street is to house fashion retailer Massimo Dutti, whose elegant and classic designs are for daily and formal wear.
Dublin’s Grafton Street is to get a boost with the decision by the world’s biggest clothing group, Spain’s Inditex, to open a Massimo Dutti store in the former HMV outlet, widely regarded as one of the best trading locations on the street.
Massimo Dutti’s only other retail operation is at Dundrum Town Centre where it has been trading strongly since the centre opened in 2005.
Although several top fashion brands, including Banana Republic, looked at the ideally proportioned store at 65/66 Grafton Street, it was no surprise that Zara’s sister company, Massimo Dutti, was given first option because of Indetex’s domination of the fast fashion industry – it has more than 6,000 outlets in 86 countries – and the level of confidence that this trader could repeat its Dundrum success on Grafton Street.
Massimo Dutti fashions for men and women are modelled on elegant, classic and studied designs for daily and formal clothes. It is however more expensive than the rest of the stores in the group.
The Grafton Street letting comes after Inditex posted a record 2012 net profit as strong sales abroad, especially in Asia, offset belt-tightening by its Spanish consumers. Net profits rose by 22 per cent last year to €2.36 billion while sales were up 16 per cent to €16 billion.
The owners of the former HMV store dropped the asking rent from €1.7 million to €1 million to attract a top brand like Massimo Dutti. The strategy worked for owners Irish Property Unit Trust which has a 60 per cent stake in the building and Aviva which owns the balance.
The store is the best to become available on Grafton Street in recent years because of its layout and spacious retail floors. The ground floor extends to 418sq m (4,505sq ft). There is also retail use on the first floor of 426sq m (4,589sq ft) and 390sq m (4,208sq ft) at basement level. The top two floors are used as storage and offices.
The opening of the new Massimo Dutti store will strengthen the Indetex operation in the city where Zara already trades out of the Gaiety Centre in South King Street as well as in Henry Street and Dundrum.
The planned opening by Massimo Dutti comes two weeks after fashion giant H&M announced that it would be moving into the former National Irish Bank building at College Green.
It will have the option of trading out of up to 20,000sq ft in the landmark building which is two doors from another former bank which now houses the American fashion multiple Abercrombie & Fitch.
Savills handled the letting of the former banks and the HMV store.
Dublin City Council’s plan for repaving Grafton Street is expected to help the ongoing recovery on the high street after a series of shop closures over the past few years.
Many will be hoping that Banana Republic will settle for the enlarged store being developed at 57/58 Grafton Street in place of Zerup and Richard Alan shops.
Diane Crean of Savillls is quoting a rent of €750,000 for the store which will have a ground floor area of 340sq m (3,660sq ft) and 410sq m (4,413sq ft) at first floor level.