Dublin department store Arnotts is set to see an €11 million investment by its owner Selfridges Group, for a refurbishment and an upgrade of its technology systems, according to The Irish Times.
The refurb by the group, which is owned by the Irish-Canadian family of Galen and Hillary Weston, will include an overhaul of its beauty hall at the Henry Street entrance in addition to new restaurant facilities.
The move is reported to come in addition to the €4 million that Selfridges made available for improvements last year.
Arnotts has a turnover of more than €75 million and is set to open a new toys department. This department will open in the coming weeks and will be adjacent to the new childrenswear department that has moved to the basement.
The department store also plans to collaborate with the Little Museum of Dublin ahead of Arnotts’ 175 anniversary celebrations in May.
Beauty And Food
The 25,000 square foot beauty and cosmetics hall, will reportedly take up more than a quarter of the investment. Already some €1.5 million was spent on this part of the store last year, including on its Mac, Longchamp and Coach branded sections.
These three upgrades will be replicated across the beauty department to create a new ‘beauty hub’, which will promote niche cosmetic brands and will be constructed further inside the store.
Work will begin later this year to upgrade the department store’s two restaurants, Clodagh’s Kitchen on the upper floor and Handmade at Arnott’s kitchen below it as well as add a new restaurant for its 1,200 staff.
Handmade at Arnott's will see a complete redesign with new table service and, by moving the chef’s workspace out into public view, will reportedly introduce an element of ‘theatre’ to the restaurant.
Behind The Scenes
Behind the scenes, the store will also see an investment of €1.2 million in a new central kitchen which serves its various outlets.
Meanwhile, €3 million will go to technology upgrades, which will focus mainly on Arnotts’ stock control, warehousing system and a new air conditioning system.
There will also be an investment in the HR department, including a staff app to allow them to see their rota and swap shifts.
A lot of the tech investment will focus on further integrating the store’s back-of-house and POS systems with its website, as part of a strategy to link its online and offline retail.
“We have made considerable advancements in our refurbishment programme,” said Donald McDonald, the managing director of Arnotts.
“This latest investment will support ongoing improvements, and includes extensive system upgrades and technology advancements to support our ambition of making the Arnotts shopping experience the most engaging omni-channel experience in Ireland,” he said.
Selfridges bought Arnotts in 2015 from a consortium fronted by developer Noel Smyth. The group also owns Brown Thomas on Grafton Street and is an investor in Associated British Foods, which owns Primark/Penneys.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.