Irish

Saturday 12 July 2014

Clock is ticking at iconic store

Published 07/11/2012|05:00

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Now Clerys can really hang out the 'Under New Management' sign. Just weeks after US-based investment firm Gordon Brothers bought the troubled department store for an estimated €14m, it has appointed Dominic Prendergast as managing director of the business.

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He replaces PJ Timmins who stepped down last week. Mr Prendergast faces the unenviable task of reviving an iconic department store whose lustre has faded.

Among younger shoppers, there appears to be an enormous amount of work to be done to turn Clerys into a must-go destination.

Clerys must surely have looked somewhat enviously on the queue of youngsters waiting to be among the first last week to enter the new Abercrombie & Fitch store in Dublin -- its first in Ireland.

A generation weaned on an endless diet of angsty US TV shows provide the perfect targets for hoodies that cost a fortune.

Mr Prendergast has a long track record in retail. From London, among his first jobs was as department manager with Allders department store in Croydon.

One of London's biggest department stores, it closed in September.

In an interview in 2002, when he was working with chocolatier Thorntons, Mr Prendergast described his first day of work at a retail company when he was young.

"Determined to make my mark, I sauntered into the manager's office, outlined my recommendations to improve sales and was promptly banished to the stockroom for a week."

He's unlikely to get the same treatment at the hands of Gordon Brothers.

Irish Independent

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