THE former A-Wear store on Patrick Street is to become part of a JD Sports expansion in the city.
The sports retailer, which is located inside the Savoy Shopping Centre on Patrick Street, has applied for planning permission to expand into the empty unit which was used by A-Wear clothing store before its closure in 2014.
Cork Business Association (CBA) chief executive Lawrence Owens said it is a good news story for the city centre.
“They are a prominent retailer. The site has been unused for a number of years and it is nice to see this shop take its place.”
Mr Owens said the next thing he would be looking at is the timeframe on the proposed expansion with the hope that the retailer could open its new doors by the summer.
“It is a bricks-and-mortar retailer and the demand is there for this type of shop. It appeals to the younger demographic and it is increasing what is on offer in the city for people which is always good.
“It is giving the customer more of what they want and it is good for Cork City centre.”
Local business owner Richard Jacob, who runs Idaho Cafe, agreed it was fantastic news to have the sports store expand in such a prime retail spot on Patrick Street.
“It shows great confidence in Cork City. With online sales doing so well and shops closing down, it is brilliant to see such investment being put into a prime retail spot in the city.”
Mr Jacob said that it shows that people do still want the shopping experience.
“It is interesting that there is a serious number of sports stores in the city centre, It is fantastic because it brings in the younger crowd who are more likely to shop online and it counters that.”
The cafe owner said that it was great to have the added incentive for younger people to visit the city centre.
“Older people will still come into the city and do a bit of shopping but it is the younger generation prefer to click click click online in the evenings.
“These sports stores attract young people.”