Brown Thomas on Grafton Street begins €1.5m revamp

Company aims to modernise its flagship store in Dublin

Brown Thomas exterior: the work is part of a wider €20 million refurbishment to modernise the premises.

Brown Thomas exterior: the work is part of a wider €20 million refurbishment to modernise the premises.

 

Brown Thomas has begun a €1.5 million renovation of the façade of its flagship department store on Grafton Street in Dublin.

Hoarding has been erected outside the Grafton Street store in the past couple of weeks with a view to re-rendering parts of the facade, restoring some brickwork, renewing lead flashing and repairing some water damage.

This is part of a wider €20 million refurbishment aimed at modernising the store and setting it up to take advantage of the recovery in the economy.

“It’s about taking care of the building . . . and presenting a really sharp exterior,” Brown Thomas managing director Stephen Sealey told The Irish Times. “It will cost us about €1.5 million but it’s the right thing to do. Ultimately, it’s an investment in the future of the business.”

Mr Sealey said the exterior work on Grafton Street would take about 12 weeks to complete with the company also planning to renovate the facades on South William Street and Clarendon Street over time.

Business as usual

Kildare-based MDY Construction Ltd is the contractor carrying out the exterior work.

Mr Sealey said Brown Thomas is beginning to see a lift in sales from the recovery in the economy and the boost to tourism from a weaker euro. Tourists make up about 10 per cent of its business.

“We’ve edged up our sales every year since 2009. This year, we are seeing growth across all of our stores, with the strongest being in Dublin.”

Brown Thomas has stores in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, and BT2 outlets in Grafton Street, Henry Street, Dundrum and Blanchardstown.

Latest accounts for Brown Thomas show it made a profit of €4.7 million off turnover of €146 million in the year to February 2014.