Jewellers plans new Grafton St premises
Dublin's Grafton Street looks set to swap bankers for bracelets, with a major new jewellery store planned at a landmark location on the shopping thoroughfare.
Bank of Ireland's so-called Enterprise Lounge, which opened in 2012 at the depths of Ireland's financial crisis, is making way for a Claddagh Jewellers outlet, as the family-owned chain expands its Dublin presence. Its biggest store is currently in Galway.
The Enterprise Lounge opened by Bank of Ireland was aimed at providing a useful business space for startups and entrepreneurs to host meetings or work from.
The Grafton Street venue closed some time ago, however.
Bank of Ireland launched a new concept called Workbench, which also provides free co-working space for entrepreneurs and local communities. It has opened premises in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
Claddagh Jewellers is owned by the Galway-based Fried family. The business started in Dublin, when a store was opened in 1967.
Soon after, it opened a shop in Galway, where the company behind the business is based.
In 2015, the family opened a new outlet in Dublin, adjacent to the Grafton Street location, on Nassau Street.
The latest set of publicly available accounts for the firm show that it made a €120,000 profit in the 12 months to the end of April last year. The company is controlled by Philip and Andrew Fried.
Its shareholders are listed as the Frieds, a company called Dublin Wholesale Manufacturing Jewellery, and two other firms connected to the family.
The premises at 2 Grafton Street is a prime location. The building, a protected structure, is owned by an investor vehicle controlled by Davy.
One objection to the new jewellery store has already been submitted to Dublin City Council.
Claddagh Jewellers intends to occupy the basement, ground and first floor of 2 Grafton Street.
The remaining four floors are currently being offered for rent by CBRE for office use. It's guiding a rent of €7,900 per month.
CBRE's latest report in global prime retail rents shows that retail rents in Dublin rose 10.5pc year-on-year during the first quarter of 2017.
CBRE said Ireland's retail sector is "robust".