Penneys has announced that it is planning to invest €250 million in its store network in the Republic in a move that will increase its trading space by 20% and will create 700 new jobs.
The investment includes one new store location, one relocated store, existing store redevelopments and the development of a state-of-the-art warehousing and distribution facility in Newbridge, Co. Kildare announced earlier this year.
Taken together, the plans reinforce Primark’s long-term commitment to Ireland, high street retail and local communities across the country.
The announcement includes a €60 million investment in its Patrick Street store in Cork city, €20 million investment in its Eyre Square store in Galway, and €75 million investment in a new distribution centre in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, the retailer said.
Primark said that it will increase its selling space in Ireland by an estimated 20% within the next 10 years.
A new 43,000 sq. ft store will open at The Square, Tallaght in Autumn 2022 and will bring the total number of Penneys stores in Ireland to 37.
'Strong Vote Of Confidence'
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar welcomed the news, commenting, “This announcement is a really strong vote of confidence in the retail sector, with investment planned for stores in cities and towns across the country."
"It’s creating significant employment with 700 new jobs and will also help to secure footfall in our towns and cities once we emerge from the pandemic," he said.
"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," the Tánaiste added.
Primark noted that it will continue to invest in its people, with plans to increase its total workforce in Ireland by 12% in the next three years; announcing today the creation of over 600 retail jobs in Penneys stores across Ireland, with 300 new jobs in the new Penneys Tallaght store alone.
These new retail roles expand on an already 5,000 strong Penneys retail workforce in Ireland, with new roles including full and part-time retail assistants, trainee managers and department managers, it said.
Primark is also recruiting 100 new roles over the next six months at its global headquarters at Arthur Ryan House, based above Penneys flagship store on Dublin’s Mary Street.
These highly skilled roles in areas such as Technology, Buying & Merchandising, Design, Sustainability, Store Development, Finance and HR will further build Primark’s global team of around 1,000 employees, who work across the company’s 399 stores and 70,000 employees across its 14 markets – with the 400th store set to open next week in Sicily.
Primark currently employs over 6,000 people in Ireland alone, making it one of the country’s largest employers with a significant presence in towns and cities nationwide.
"The site of our very first store which opened more than 50 years ago is today home to our global headquarters, leading our business in 14 markets around the world. But 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," said Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark.
"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," he added.
Last month, Primark secured planning permission to develop a new, warehousing and distribution facility in Newbridge to serve the island of Ireland.
The 550,000 sq. ft facility will comprise a warehouse, distribution facility and office space on a 38-acre site and is expected to be completed in early 2024.
Welcoming today’s announcement, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English said,“Retail is the largest private sector employer in Ireland, and supports jobs in every city, town and village throughout the country.
"A 12% growth in employee numbers for a business like Penneys further demonstrates the strength and resilience of the retail sector and will have a hugely positive impact on the industry as a whole,” he said.
“Penneys is an Irish retail institution and I’m delighted to see the breadth of opportunities it has to offer for those starting off their careers in retail, to the more specialised roles like buying and merchandising,” Minister English concluded.