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Retail to Resume at the Clerys Building as H&M Opens a New Location

The Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M has announced that it will open a new location on Friday at O’Connell Street in Dublin’s renovated Clerys Quarter. The 30,000 square foot store will be its second largest in the city, behind the west Dublin outlet at Liffey Valley. The new store, which will retail clothing and accessories, will feature self-service checkout lanes and click-and-collect hub lockers, according to the brand.

With the grand opening, retail operations at the landmark Clerys building will finally resume. Following five years of construction, renovations were completed in June. A representative stated at the time that the development was still on schedule to open before Christmas and that the retail fit-out phase was under way.

Since then, the developers have filed a lawsuit in the High Court against Heatons Ltd., doing business as Flannels, for what they claim to be wrongful lease termination.
H&M closed its South King Street store in Dublin last summer. The retailer will now operate out of the ground and first floors of Clerys. It had been located in a structure next to the Gaiety Theatre, taking nearly 18,000 square feet. According to the Swedish chain, its most recent launch demonstrates the fashion brand’s assurance in the Irish market. Head of Expansion at H&M UK & Ireland Klas Degeryd stated, “We are thrilled to be opening our doors in the freshly restored iconic Clerys Quarter, helping to bring a new lease of life to a much-loved building.”

Decathlon, a French-based sports apparel specialist, is set to join it shortly. Following Flannels’ departure, it apparently intends to establish a 30,000 square foot store the following summer.
In addition to 90,000 square feet of business space, the building will have 213 rooms in a four-star hotel. A 400 square foot ground floor space has been rented by Rolled to sell sushi to-go. Pret A Manger has previously established an outpost. The HSE purchased a portion of the building last year, intending to utilize it as an outpatient clinic for the adjacent Rotunda Hospital.

2015 saw Natrium purchase Clerys for around €29 million. The 170-year-old department store was unexpectedly shuttered by the consortium, resulting in the loss of 130 direct employees and 460 overall jobs. To make up for their mandatory redundancy payments, the State was forced to intervene.

After being vacant for three years, the store was finally sold by Natrium in October 2018 for a sum of €63 million to two local partners, Oakmount, which is owned by Paddy McKillen Jr. and Core Capital, both of whom are part of the Rockefeller Group, and Derek McGrath.