Australian retailer to create up to 350 jobs
Australian creative stationery chain Smiggle will employ up to 350 people here within the next two years as it rolls out as many as 25 outlets across the island, according to managing director John Cheston.
The company is part of the Just Group that's owned by stockmarket-listed Premier Investments, the group headed by Australian billionaire Solomon Lew.
Smiggle opened its first Irish outlet at Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin yesterday, and Mr Cheston said the response had been the most impressive of any of the chain's debuts.
Smiggle's products are primarily aimed at children aged between six and 13.
Mr Cheston said the next store on the island will open in Derry in June, with another opening in Blanchardstown Centre in Dublin in July.
He said two Smiggle stores will open in Cork, and that the chain will also open outlets in Limerick and Galway.
Mr Cheston said that although rents are high at Dundrum Town Centre, it also benefits from high footfall and gives the brand exposure here.
"We're not afraid to pay the rents that go with the best locations," he said, adding that Smiggle's UK website had already been attracting a significant amount of business from Ireland.
"We have a massive commitment to Ireland," he added.
Smiggle aims to have 200 stores in the UK by 2019. Mr Cheston said it will have 125 there by Christmas.