This Australian chain is planning to open 20 Irish outlets
Australian stationery chain Smiggle plans to open as many as 20 stores in Ireland over the next three years.
It will open its first Irish outlet next month, at the Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin, which is jointly owned by Hammerson and Allianz. It will open another store in Ireland by summer and is in advanced discussions to open between two and three more before Christmas.
Smiggle already has about 90 outlets in the UK. It is part of stockmarket-listed Premier Investments, the group headed by Australian billionaire Solomon Lew. The group also owns a number of other retail brands.
Premier said that its Irish outlet will be the first in the eurozone, and that it has completed a "comprehensive deep dive and in-market due diligence… identifying substantial synergies with the existing UK business".
It estimated that the stationery market here is worth as much as €338m a year. Premier said that the Irish market is already the number one market outside the UK for online Smiggle orders.
Premier opened 26 Smiggle stores in the UK in the first half of its financial year, which ended in January, and expects annual sales there to hit A$200m (€142.7m) by 2019.
It will open a total of between 30 and 40 more stores in the UK this year.
Simon Betty, Hammerson's director of retail in Ireland, said it was a "fantastic result" to secure Smiggle at Dundrum for its country debut.