Saturday 14 December 2019

Popular pre-loved luxury handbag store opens second outlet in Dublin's city centre

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A popular pre-loved luxury handbag and accessories retailer in Dublin has announced the opening of a second store in the city centre.

The Designer Exchange (DE) on Dawson St celebrated the shop's fifth birthday last November - and founder Paddy Coughlan believed it was time for an expansion.

"When we first opened we always planned on having more stores, we found the perfect location and we are thrilled it’s happened," he said.

"There are lots of growth plans for Designer Exchange in 2018 and beyond, but this is a great way to start a new chapter in our story."

Read more: 'We have every kind of bag, from €20 to €20,000' - Dublin's Designer Exchange knows its Chanel from its Prada

The doors of the first DE opened in October 2012, disrupting the designer accessories retail market, with Paddy and his eye for a good trade at the helm.

For 10 years, he worked in the business of buying and selling computer games in Gameworld, a concept that worked so successfully that multinational GameStop bought the firm out.

"When I took voluntary redundancy, I knew I wanted to do my own thing, and the great benefit was having five sisters to bounce this idea off," said Paddy.

"I knew from talking to them that there was a demographic there that really wanted these items."

The store started out as a rare clothing company, "a beta test", but the plan was always to become a designer exchange and focus on handbags.

"We had lovely clothes but we wouldn't always have the size the customer required, that's rarely an issue when it comes to handbags," said Paddy.

Over the last five years, Paddy believes DE has established "a bit of an algorithm" for pricing the goods coming in and out. But he maintains that the key selling point of becoming a regular customer is discovering the real value of the items in your possession.

"The amount of people that have said 'Eureka, you're here', as they are looking to trade in accessories they have had hidden away in their wardrobe because they're looking to put an extension on the house, buying a new kitchen, or getting a new car," he said.

"Gone are the days that you drop €1000 on a handbag and you never see that money again. Buy it for €1000, we are going to give you a minimum of 60pc of that back when you trade it back to us.

"If you decide to own it for a year, that trickles down that the cost of owning a bag becomes your daily cup of coffee."

The official opening of Designer Exchange second outlet will be held in late February.

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