Wednesday 28 September 2016

Galway firm Dubarry set for further expansion in UK

Sean Duffy

Published 21/07/2016 | 02:30

The Irish clothing firm is to open a store in Cheltenham close to the famous racecourse
The Irish clothing firm is to open a store in Cheltenham close to the famous racecourse

Irish shoe maker Dubarry could soon make the majority if its income from the UK, after opening its second British store in Cheltenham.

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With one store in Ireland and two in Britain, the majority of the company's retail business is now in Britain which already accounted for 43pc of sales.

The new store will be located in the English town of Cheltenham, where Dubarry aims to capitalise on links to the iconic Cheltenham racecourse, which attracts hundreds of thousands of wealthy punters - and a large Irish contingent - to the Cotswolds area each year.

The 170sqm development is next to the Abercrombie & Fitch store in the heart of the capital.

In addition to its own stores, Dubarry supplies shoe-shops and operates an international distribution network, with offices in Galway, the UK, Holland and the United States.

Sales last year were €26m. Dubarry was founded in 1937 by the Scott family, but former accountant Eamonn Fagan led a management buyout in 1983 along with fellow investors Michael Walsh, Jim Ward and Brian Geraghty.

In 2004, the firm moved its manufacturing base from Ireland to Portugal and the Far East.

Having weathered the economic downturn, Dubarry is betting its new stores will add to its earning capacity following years of strong growth in clothing, footwear and accessories.

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