Penneys to open bigger shop in Dundrum Town Centre

Retailer to spend almost €15m on new store – second and third floors of former House of Fraser

Irish retailer Penneys has confirmed plans to relocate to a bigger shop in the Dundrum Town Centre by taking two floors of the former House of Fraser department store there.

Penneys plans to spend €14.8 million on the new store. It will occupy the second and third floors of the former House of Fraser outlet, which closed in 2020. This will give Penneys 60,000 sq ft of retail space, an increase of 64 per cent on the current outlet in Dundrum.

Brown Thomas is refurbishing two other floors from the old House of Fraser site, which involves it relocating from its current BT2 outlet in the centre.

The move by Penneys into this larger space had been flagged two years ago but the retailer paused the plan when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.

Penneys said the decision demonstrates its commitment to Irish bricks and mortar retailing and would allow it to offer a wider selection of fashion and beauty products, along with an expanded homeware department.

Work will commence on the new store in the autumn and it will open in the early summer of 2023. The Penneys shop in Dundrum will remain open during construction.

Damien O’Neill, head of Penneys in the Republic and Northern Ireland, said the company was “delighted to finally confirm the relocation and expansion” of its Dundrum store.

“As one of Ireland’s leading shopping destinations, Dundrum is a really important location for Penneys and very popular with our customers. Increasing the size of the store means we can offer a much wider selection right across fashion, beauty and homewares.

“We have big plans and great ideas around how we bring our unique in-store design to life for our Dundrum customers, and we look forward to opening early next summer.”

Big brand

Connor Owens, managing director Ireland of Hammerson Group Management, which operates the centre, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the growth of Penneys in Ireland with this exciting new store at Dundrum Town Centre. This will be one of the brand’s biggest retail offerings in Ireland.”

He said Penneys’ decision demonstrated the value big brands still see in physical retailing. “This is one of the largest shopping centre lettings in Europe in recent years and is an indication of what is to come in 2022 and beyond with new uses and partnerships at Dundrum Town Centre in the pipeline,” he added.

In November, The Irish Times revealed that Penneys, which is part of the Primark group, planned to invest more than €250 million in its Irish business over the next 10 years, creating about 700 jobs here within three years.

Primark will increase its total selling space in Ireland by an estimated 20 per cent within the next decade. The Dublin-based retailer operates in more than 400 locations across 14 markets in Europe and north America.