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Fashion boost for capital as H&M set to open in former bank HQ

TWO popular clothing retailers are to compete for customers on a street which was more accustomed to financial services.

Fashion giant H&M's decision to open a new store in Dublin was today hailed as a major vote of confidence in the city.

The world's second largest fashion retailer is set to open a substantial new outlet in the premises that housed the former National Irish Bank on College Green.

It will be two doors away from the Abercrombie & Fitch store which occupies another landmark building, once owned by the Bank of Ireland.



"It is another boost for the city and a vote of confidence in Dublin from a major international brand," said Clyde Carroll, of Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID).

Last year, footfall in the Grafton St area was 74m, an increase of 5pc, and that trend has continued in the first six months of the year, he said.

Having stores with brands like H&M and Abercrombie & Fitch in close proximity would have a very positive effect on the whole area, he added.

Earlier in the year, the cultural quarter in Dublin, taking in the Grafton Street Area to George's Street, was awarded a Purple Flag award for excellence in management of town and city centres at night.

H&M is reported to have agreed a rent in the region of €800,000 for the block.

Paddy McKillen and Tony Leonard of Clarendon Properties, who bought the former bank building for close to €4.5m, are expected to seek planning permission to install a shop front. Clarendon, who also own the Abercrombie & Fitch building, also secured permission to open a separate shop for Cult Clothing at the former bank building.