FASHION giant Abercrombie & Fitch is set to open its first Irish store in the autumn in what has been seen as a positive sign for recovery in the retail industry.
The clothing firm has lodged a planning application to renovate the prestigious former Habitat building on College Green in Dublin city centre.
Richard Guiney, chief executive of the Dublin City Business Improvement District, said the news was a "huge vote of confidence" for retailing in the city.
Abercrombie's sister label Hollister, which last year opened its first Irish store in Dundrum Town Centre, has already shown it can cause a stir. The outlet was the second busiest of the chain's global network in the run-up to Christmas, beaten only by its store on New York's Fifth Avenue.
Mr Guiney said there had been a number of "early indications" that the retail industry was reaching an important positive tipping point, including the first growth in footfall numbers in six years and a fall in the number of empty premises.