Couture shoe brand Jimmy Choo may be about to step up with a rare and badly needed piece of good news for the Irish retail sector.
The brand, known for its expensive high-end women's shoes, is to open one of its outlets at Kildare Village, it is understood.
The retail village is currently closed due to government guidelines and has not announced a reopening date so it is not yet clear when Jimmy Choo will make its debut at the venue.
The famous shoe brand was co-founded by UK-based Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat. He is best known for co-founding Jimmy Choo Ltd, which became known for its handmade women's shoes.
The Village is owned by Value Retail and houses almost 100 boutiques with new arrivals in recent years including luxury brand Prada, DVF, Guess, New Balance, The White Company, Kurt Geiger Men's, Rituals and The Christmas Collective.
Before the pandemic, the luxury fashion outlet had experienced strong growth of more than 20pc over recent years, particularly following the opening of a €50m phase two extension in late 2015.
Footfall had grown strongly, by over a quarter, after the opening of the new extension, with international visitor numbers and tax-free sales in particular growing strongly.
But the closure of retail due to the pandemic has come as a major blow to the sector. New figures on Friday showed retail sales collapsed by more than a third in April, making it the worst month for shops in more than a decade. The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show there was a 35.4pc fall in the month compared to March.
International shopping centre owner and operator Hammerson owns a 40pc stake in Kildare Village, as well as a 50pc stake in the Dundrum, Ilac and Pavilions shopping centres in Dublin.
It was announced last week that Hammerson chief executive David Atkins will step down because the company is facing a crisis due to coronavirus-induced shop closures and a collapse in rent.
Kildare Village declined to comment on the expected arrival of Jimmy Choo when contacted for comment.