Primark, the company which operates Penneys retail stores, is planning a significant investment in Ireland with the creation of 700 new jobs.
Primark CEO Paul Marchant will be joined by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD and Damien English TD, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail later this morning at Penneys flagship store on Mary Street in Dublin to announce details of the investment.
It plans to invest over €250 million in the company over the next 10 years with 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.
A €60 million investment will be made in its Patrick Street store in Cork city, subject to planning permission.
The company plans to extend the store by almost 50 per cent, increasing its footprint from 36,900 sq. ft to 54,100 sq. ft.
It says this, and a refurbishment of the Patrick Street store will create "an enhanced shopping experience for customers."
A €20 million investment is planned in its Eyre Square store in Galway, and €75 million investment in a new distribution centre in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
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.
Primark also plans to increase its workforce in Ireland by 12% over the next three years with the creation of 700 new jobs; 600 jobs in Penneys retail stores and 100 jobs at its global headquarters in Dublin city centre.
Commenting on the plans, Primark CEO, Paul Marchant said: “We are proud to announce a significant long-term investment in our Penneys business to improve and grow our Irish stores by creating 700 new jobs across the country. We hugely value our incredibly loyal Irish customers who have supported us over the years. 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. 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”.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD welcomed the news.
“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. 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. Much of this success is thanks to access to a talented workforce in Ireland. I wish Penneys continued success in its Irish and global expansion.”
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD added: “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. 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.”
Primark also intends to accelerate the pace of its expansion in the US market, building on strong trading and a growing brand awareness. Over the next five years, Primark expects the US store estate to grow to some 60 stores. As well as the US, Primark intends to focus this expansion in its European markets of France, Spain and Italy, as well continuing to grow in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
Over the next five years, Primark expects its store estate to grow from 399 stores currently to 530 stores globally.