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Cashmere shop sends letters to tight-knit customers

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Family business: Suzie Goggins

Family business: Suzie Goggins

Family business: Tom Monaghan

Family business: Tom Monaghan

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Family business: Suzie Goggins

Dublin's oldest working retailer, 94-year-old Tom Monaghan, is taking the old-school approach to rekindling interest in his family's luxury cashmere knitwear and fashion business.

The family business on South Anne Street will reopen next Monday and will celebrate 60 years in business on October 1 - the day Tom turns 95.

The veteran retailer has traded through three recessions and he has used his cocooning time during lockdown very productively.

The nonagenarian took out his leather-bound address book and dictated letters to be written to his customers around the world, some of whom were due to come over this spring.

His daughter, Suzie Goggins, who has taken over the day-to-day running of the store and is a director of Monaghan Cashmere said "we have been closed since March 19 and we had the front window broken and a smash and grab early on during lockdown.

"Dad will be coming into the store on Monday for a little while. He just wants to see the shop again and is very interested to see the next phase of the business."

Suzie said their shop has built up a multi-generational custom for top-end luxury cashmere knits and clothing.

"Now we are on the third generation of customers from the same families and dad knows them all from the start. That's why he wanted to contact them and ask how they keeping well and say he hoped to see them back in Ireland again."

Tom and his wife Teresa, who died earlier this year, opened up originally in the Grafton Arcade and Tom modelled their Irish traditional knits in adverts.

However, in recent years they switched and have specialised in quality cashmere from Scotland and Italy. "Dad is so stringent on the quality. If it's not excellent, it does not get through the door," said Suzie.

She launched her own line of cashmere designs three years ago. Since then her product range has trebled in size from eight to 22 styles.

Irish Independent