Irish department store chain Brown Thomas is to open a new flagship store at the departing House of Fraser in Dundrum town centre, Dublin, in the first half of 2021.
The outlet will comprise more than 63,000sq ft of space, which is roughly half the size of Brown Thomas’s flagship department store on Grafton Street, Dublin.
The retail sales area of 45,000sq ft will allow Brown Thomas to offer a much larger range of products compared to what it currently can at its existing BT2 store in Dundrum, which will be vacated once the new store flagship shop is ready.
This signing marks the latest stage of Hammerson’s strategy to proactively step-up the brand mix at its flagship destinations to introduce the world’s leading brands.
Brown Thomas’s vision for the store is to “create a contemporary space – mixing physical and digital – designed to enhance the shopping experience for its customers.”
Following a complete refit of the existing retail space, the store will launch in the first half of 2021, with plans to employ over 400 people. It will trade over two levels of the existing, but departing, House of Fraser store.
The new store will complement the already successful brand mix at Dundrum, which includes Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Kurt Geiger.
Mark Bourgeois, managing director of the UK and Ireland at Hammerson, said: “Across our portfolio, we’re proactively shifting the brand mix and repurposing department store space to ensure our destinations are as attractive and engaging as possible. We’re really focusing on the world’s leading brands and experiences, and today’s announcement is a great example of that strategy in action, as Brown Thomas is one of Ireland’s most iconic and successful retail brands.
“Not only does it have a cherished heritage, it also delivers an extraordinary experience every time you visit. The investment from Brown Thomas will transform the department store line up at Dundrum, replacing two levels of the existing House of Fraser store, ensuring Dundrum remains the premium destination of choice for both brands and consumers.”
Donald McDonald, managing director of Brown Thomas Arnotts, commented: “We are delighted to have secured a new enlarged store at Dundrum – one of Ireland’s leading shopping centres. We have been looking for a larger space in the centre for a number of years to enable us to deliver a more enhanced customer experience, and in particular, to help grow our successful BT2 business there.
“Brown Thomas Dundrum will reflect the considerable investment we’ve made in recent years to make our stores and online platforms exciting and inspiring destinations for our customers, who can expect unrivalled product ranges and innovative new retail and digitally-enabled concepts at Dundrum once opened. In the meantime, it will be business as usual for the existing store in Dundrum, and for customers and team members.”
Canadian billionaire, Galen Weston, owns Brown Thomas, which falls under the parent organisation of Selfridges Group Limited, as well as Ireland’s other major department store, Arnotts. Both are part of a portfolio of upmarket departments stores owned by the Weston family, which also incorporate Selfridges in the UK, Holt Renfrew in Canada and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.
As well as the existing Brown Thomas flagship store at 88-95 Grafton Street, Dublin, Brown Thomas has stores in Cork, Galway and Limerick.