Thursday 17 October 2019

Shaws stores mark 150th anniversary

THIS year, Shaws Department Stores celebrates a very major milestone - 150 years in business.

As one of Ireland's leading retailers, Shaws sees over half a million customer visits to their stores every month and almost 1,000 people are employed across their 17 stores, including one on North Main Street in Wexford.

To this day, the company remains family-owned and the current Managing Director, Jonathan Shaw, is among the fourth generation of the Shaw family to work in the business. The company's focus is on retailing of branded products in a friendly, modern and service-orientated environment.

It all started for Shaws in 1864 when Henry Shaw established a small drapery store in Mountmellick. As business grew to include stores in Portlaoise and Athy, Shaws was registered as a private limited company in 1934. The Managing Director at that time was Sam Shaw, Jonathan Shaw's grandfather.

By the mid-1970s, Shaws had added stores in Waterford, Carlow, Roscrea, Fermoy and Limerick. In 1976, Shaws acquired Haddens Limited as a going concern, with its stores in Wexford, Dungarvan and Carlow being rebranded under the Shaws name. The 1980s and 1990s saw stores opened in Dun Laoghaire and Tralee.

The period 2003 to 2008 saw the most rapid expansion of Shaws' operations at any time in its history with the investment of over €50 million into the business producing new stores in Wexford, Carlow, Castlebar, Drogheda and Ballina. There was also extensive refurbishment of other stores and the move to a new head office.

Following five years of consolidation in the teeth of the global recession, 2013 saw the opening of a new store in Longford. 2013 also saw a link to the earliest days of the business come to an end with the sale of the old Portlaoise premises after 109 years of continuous trading following the move to a superb new 20,000 sq. ft. store elsewhere in the town.

Shaws 150th Anniversary celebrations kick off on the weekend of Friday, September 5, with great offers for its cusomers.

On Saturday, Septenmber 13 and Saturday, September 20 there will be anniversary parties in all 17 stores.

Enniscorthy Guardian