Capital values on Grafton Street, Ireland’s most popular shopping thoroughfare, have plunged by some €228 million, or 40 per cent, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the street continues to struggle with high vacancy rates and a sluggish return of shoppers.
According to the latest MSCI/ SCSI Ireland property index, values on Ireland’s most expensive shopping street fell from €575.3 million as of March 2020 to just €347.7 million as of December 2021. The index covered 39 properties in March 2020 and two fewer, at 37, in December 2021; however this isn’t enough of a difference to explain the sharp fall in values on the street.
With more than 20 per cent of stores now vacant on the street, and a lack of certainty over others such as Canada Goose, which has indicated that it will close in March of this year, the street has suffered from the dearth of both office workers and tourists in the past 24 months.
Coinciding with difficulties faced by larger chains such as Arcadia, it means that a host of outlets, including those formerly occupied by the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Fitzpatricks, Topman, Monsoon and Cath Kidston, are closed.
While the street has gotten a bit of a lift from the recent arrival of athleisure brand Lululemon, which has taken a 10-year lease at the former Pamela Scott outlet, and the €22 million sale to German investor Deka Immobilien of 26/27 Grafton Street, home to fashion retailer & Other Stories, the outlook remains uncertain.
Back in 2019, the street ranked as the 13th most expensive in the world in Cushman & Wakefield’s “Main Streets Across the World” survey, behind London’s Bond Street, New York’s Fifth Avenue and the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
It’s a similar story on nearby Henry Street, where, according to the index, capital values have also plunged by 40 per cent since the first Covid case was recorded in Ireland. Back in March 2020, Henry Street and Mary Street had a combined capital value of €247.33 million, but as of December 2021 the value had plummeted to just 149.7 million. Both figures are based on 34 properties.