Fashion retailer Penneys is planning to invest €250 million into its store network in the State in a move that will increase its trading space by 20 per cent and add 700 jobs to its workforce.
This will include Penneys opening a store at the Square shopping centre in Tallaght, Dublin for the first time, with the 3,995sq m (43,000sq ft) outlet slated to begin trading in the autumn of next year.
Some 600 of the planned new roles will be based in stores, with 100 at Primark’s global headquarters in Dublin. Penneys is the brand used by Primark in the Irish market. Some 300 staff will be employed in the Tallaght store. The retailer already employs about 5,000 staff here.
The new jobs will be created over the next three years while the capital investment in its store network will be spread across 10 years.
The store programme includes a €60 million investment in extending and redeveloping its St Patrick Street shop in Cork city, €20 million on extending its Eyre Square outlet in Galway, and €75 million on a new distribution centre in Newbridge, Co Kildare.
Penneys will also open its newly relocated store in Carlow in the summer of 2022 as it moves its existing shop to a larger premises. The expansion plan will bring the total number of Penneys stores in the Republic to 37.
The retailer said a number of other store extensions here would be announced over the coming months.
Primark chief executive Paul Marchant said he was “proud” to announce the investment programme for its Irish stores. “We hugely value our incredibly loyal Irish customers who have supported us over the years. Even as we grow internationally, Ireland will always be our first and home market, and we remain as committed as ever to our employees, customers, and stores here. Our investment plans demonstrate the confidence and commitment we have to Penneys in Ireland: we plan to remain at the centre of Irish retail for a long time to come”.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said the announcement was a “really strong vote of confidence” in the Irish retail sector.
“Penneys is one of Ireland’s best-known retailers and also an international success story, having driven significant global expansion over the last few of years.”
Primark’s Dublin head office supports a global network of 399 stores, and 70,000 employees across 14 markets. Its 40th store is due to open next week in Sicily, Italy.
Primark also intends to accelerate the pace of expansion in the US market, growing its estate to some 60 stores from 13.