'Clerys can be Dublin's Harrods' - high hopes for future of city icon

Claire Murphy

CLERYS new owners will target a massive refurbishment and focus on developing a 'Harrods of Dublin', experts predict.

The US-based group Gordon Brothers Europe has said it is aware of the important history of the department store.

David Fitzsimons, of Retail Excellence Ireland, said that several big names had been tipped to take over the iconic shop.

"There were certain different suitors that let it be known they were interested, but Clerys plumbed for Gordon Brothers," he said.

"I know they have been eyeing up the Irish market and have a record of turning around businesses like this.

"I'd say their strategy is to build the brand, inject the capital into a refurb programme, drive efficiency at the store."


Entertainer Twink, aka Adele King, said that Clerys should remain an important part of Dublin city and could be developed even further.

"I always thought that Clerys should be an Irish tourism emporium, there should be an Irish food board restaurant," she said.

"I think you can take a store, pull it too far into the 21st century and therefore lose all the character."

The US investment group said that it has no plans to impose a brand new style, but aims to turn business around.

Frank Morton, CEO of Gordon Brothers Europe said that although the purchase will be a "fresh start", they have no plans to radically change Clerys position on the main thoroughfare in Dublin city centre.

"The iconic Clerys department store has, for generations of Irish people, been an important feature of Dublin retail life and Gordon Brothers is committed to re-vitalising its fortunes," he said.

"We are acutely conscious of and respectful towards its heritage and tradition."

He added: "We will invest in the store and look forward to working with the management, staff, concessionaires and suppliers to review and improve operations, to significantly enhance the offering to customers and build on the many excellent features of the store," he said.