Brown Thomas to spend €1.25m on venture into online sales

Retailer to begin by selling 10 of its leading beauty brands via the internet

After 164 years of traditional bricks and mortar trading, Irish department store group Brown Thomas will launch its first online trading store on Tuesday.

It intends to spend €1.25 million this year and next on the venture with the online launch to cost an initial €500,000.

Brown Thomas managing director Stephen Sealy told The Irish Times yesterday it would begin by selling 10 of its leading beauty brands online.

By next summer, about half of its in-store products will be available to buy over the web and via mobile platforms.


Customers will be able to have the products delivered by An Post for just €3.50 a time or they can arrange to collect them in Brown Thomas's stores in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick.

Brown Thomas will also offer to gift-wrap products.

Orders from abroad

“We are targeting our existing customer base but we think this will also appeal to customers living outside the cities where we’re located,” Mr Sealy said.

Deliveries will be available throughout the island of Ireland and the website will accept orders from abroad from “people who perhaps want to send their mum or dad in Ireland a gift”.

Brown Thomas began as a haberdashers and general drapers on Grafton Street in 1849 and is now owned by Canadian businessman Galen Weston.

Mr Sealy is confident the online venture will work. “We have reinvented ourselves successfully many times,” he said. “You’ve got to keep moving and keep changing.”

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times