UK pharmacy chain Boots has been offered 220 shops across Ireland since it announced plans late last year to open 30 new outlets here.
Jones Lang Lasalle, the agents for Boots, said the response was unmatched in the auctioneer's last two decades of Irish retail estate agency. It is an indicator of just how valuable a blue chip retailer such as Boots is in a local market in which almost no multinationals are seeking to expand.
Stephen Murray, of JLS, said the agency had whittled down the offerings to a shortlist of 120 properties which fit the needs of the chain. Boots is seeking prime and main street locations which generally stand at around three times the size of an average pharmacy.
"We're delighted with the response and as a result we've been able to secure five new locations and are at the point of finalising another five in this very early point in the chain's expansion process."
Boots plans to add to the existing chain of 70 Irish shops in bigger towns and densely populated retail locations which don't already have a Boots outlet. It opened its first Irish store in 1996 and unveiled 14 new outlets last year.