Brown Thomas to open Mac cosmetics outlet on Dublin's Henry Street
BROWN THOMAS will open a Mac cosmetics shop next month on Dublin’s Henry Street. The move is expected to renew speculation about the company’s aspirations to launch a full-scale BT2 outlet in the same north inner city area.
Stephen Sealey, managing director of the BT Group, has confirmed that they would like to open a BT2 store on Henry Street. “If the right property at the right rent came up we would love to do it but we don’t see that happening in the forseeable future.”
He said Mac cosmetics would have been part of such a store but because the company had been unable to find a suitable property, it had decided to open a stand-alone Mac shop similar to outlets at Spitalfields in London and others in New York. The new Dublin store will trade as “MAC BT2”.
Brown Thomas, synonymous with Grafton Street since 1848, has opened BT2 stores elsewhere on Grafton Street as well as in Dundrum and Blanchardstown in recent years but has not ventured into Henry Street despite its success in attracting more shoppers than Grafton Street.
The opening of the new Mac shop will, however, be seen as a vote of confidence in Henry Street and, in the longer term, as a strategic move by Brown Thomas to gain representation on a street where Arnotts department store remains the dominant trader. Retail experts are convinced that it is only a matter of time before a BT2 store opens on Henry Street.
Mac has become the largest-selling cosmetics brand in Brown Thomas, where additional retail space in the Grafton Street store has been made available to cater for the ever-growing demand. The company has also made the Mac products available through its other stores.
Mac cosmetics were initially designed for professionals in the beauty and fashion industries and became an instant hit when they were sold to consumers worldwide. The Canadian company behind the products has gained international recognition for its hugely successful fundraising to help combat the spread of Aids.
Brown Thomas will be paying a rent of € 302,000 for a sub-lease of No 52 Henry Street – directly opposite Arnotts – which was occupied up to recently by O2.
The building has a ground floor area of 87 sq m (937 sq ft) at street level and 58 sq m (625 sq ft) of retail space overhead.
Hugh Markey of Lisney, who handled the letting, said the opening of the new store would be “a fantastic boost for Henry Street” and would drive footfall even higher over the coming years. CBRE advised the owners of the building, Royal London.