| 11.2°C Dublin

Penneys staff set for 3.5pc pay rise as profits surge

STAFF at discounted retailer Penneys are set to be rewarded with a 3.5pc pay rise this year.

Although the retail industry has been severely hit by the economic downturn, the reasonably priced store has enjoyed a jump in profits as consumers look for value in clothing.

Up to 3,000 staff will receive a 2pc increase in pay from January 1 and a further 1.5pc increase from June.

The wage agreement was negotiated more than a year ago and workers balloted 94pc in favour of the proposal.

Over the past year the company has been steadily expanding its presence across Europe, opening stores in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Portugal.

It now has 196 stores, 38 of which are located in Ireland.

However, union members will lose out on months of the overdue pay rise as the increase agreed will not be backdated to its actual due date last year.

Linda Tanham, Assistant General Secretary of Mandate, said it approached Penneys last year regarding the payment of the National Wage Agreement (NWA) and has agreed that phase one of the NWA will be paid in two separate instalments.

Earlier this month, Primark and Penneys owner Associated British Food (ABF) recorded an increase in sales by 19pc in the quarter.