Seen & Heard: Major international retailer likely for Henry St

Image Publications deal with ‘Cara’ magazine comes to an end; price of medicines looks set to fall

Back to school at Arnotts. The department store may have an international retailer as a neighbour soon.

Back to school at Arnotts. The department store may have an international retailer as a neighbour soon.

 

Arnotts is poised for a dramatic change as early as 2018 on foot of a deal struck by solicitor and developer Noel Smyth with the department store’s owners, the Weston family-owned Selfridge Group, according to the Sunday Independent.

Mr Smyth’s investment vehicle, Fitzwilliam Finance Partners, submitted a planning application in conjunction with Arnotts to Dublin City Council to separate numbers 7,8 and 9 Henry Street, which currently houses Arnott’s ladies shoe department, into a separate building of roughly 40,000 sq ft with a view to bringing a major international retailer to the street.

The paper also reports that Ireland’s largest convenience retailer, BWG Group, has launched its own in-store ATMs which play video ads while withdrawals are being processed.

Oman

The Sunday Business Post reports that Douglas Wallace Consultants, the architecture firm led by Hugh Wallace, is working on a €150 million project in Muscat, the capital of Oman.

The 150,000 sq ft leisure, retail and events development contains two hotels and is located in one of the most upmarket areas in the city.

The Post also reports that Image Publications, the media company behind Image magazines, is set to lose the contract to publisher Cara, Aer Lingus’ in-flight magazine. The company’s existing contract had been extended for a year but will cease at the end of this year.

The price of medicines in Ireland could be set to fall on a yearly basis, according to the Sunday Business Post, under the terms of a multibillion euro deal between the State and major pharmaceutical companies.

The supply and pricing agreement whiz covers the majority of the €1.7 billion in medicines paid for by the State, is expected to be announced this week. Sources said the deal could deliver savings of €785 million over four years.

Network

The Sunday Times reports that Virgin Media, the broadband and TV provider formerly know as UPC, is expanding its high-speed network to parts of Louth, Wexford and Mayo to boost customer numbers.

Tony Hanway, chief executive, said it would invest “significant multimillions” to triple the build-out of its network this year compared with 2015.

The paper also reports that State will have to pay €400 million more in contributions to the EU due to the growth rate which has been dismissed as a statistical aberration by Minster for Finance Michael Noonan. The paper says that this could mean that the upcoming budget will not be able to allow for tax cuts.

The Times also says that Marlon, a British hotel group, has increased the size of a planned Dublin hotel by almost 65 per cent, and plans to seek out more Irish projects in the wake of Brexit. The company was granted permission earlier this year for a 191-bedroom hotel at Bow Lane East, behind the Stephen’s Green shopping centre.