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Long vacant Tralee Dunnes outlet set for new lease of life next month

Sporting goods chain Elverys believed to be opening new outlet at the large premises, which has been vacant since the mid-2000s

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The former Dunnes Stores outlet on Tralee's Bridge Street. Photo Domnick Walsh

The former Dunnes Stores outlet on Tralee's Bridge Street. Photo Domnick Walsh

The former Dunnes Stores outlet on Tralee's Bridge Street. Photo Domnick Walsh

kerryman

One of Tralee’s most prominent vacant retail units is set for a new lease of life from next month.

Work has commenced on the fit out of the former Dunnes Store unit on Bridge Street with sporting goods chain Elverys expected to open their new Tralee outlet in the premises next month.

The large retail unit – one of the most spacious in Tralee town centre – has been vacant since the mid 2000s.

The unit, which was still owned by Dunnes Stores, was sold to an unidentified buyer in April of this year.

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While the identity of the purchaser remains unconfirmed it has been understood for some time that Interpsort Elvery’s have acquired the use of the building – whether through ownership or lease – to open a new sports superstore.

The Mayo based company – which has 55 outlets across Ireland and is Ireland’s oldest sporting goods chain – had closed its previous Tralee outlet, in the landmark Phoenix building on The Mall, in 2021.

The outlet had employed six people in full time positions when it closed.

Last week Intersport Elvery’s began the recruitment process to staff the new Bridge street store.

The chain is seeking an number of “sports advisors” ahead of the opening of its new Tralee store which, the company said, is due to take place in October.

The new staff will be trained in the chain’s Killarney outlet ahead of the Tralee store’s opening.

When the new Elvery’s outlet opens it will end a long, grim chapter for one of Tralee’s most prominent retail units.

Once one of the town centre’s busiest shops the landmark town centre property has now been vacant for around 15 years.

In recent years several retail chains – including Danish furniture chain Jysk who ultimately opened an outlet at Manor West Retail Park – had held unsuccessful talks with Dunnes Stores with a view to renting the extensive town centre retail unit.

Dunnes Stores had previously come under heavy criticism over its ownership and management of large vacant premises in key locations in towns and cities around the country.

The vacant Tralee Dunnes unit was specifically highlighted during a Seanad debate on the need to reform Ireland’s commercial rates system in early 2017.

In March 2019 March several Tralee Municipal District councillors also hit out at Dunnes over the chain’s handling of the long vacant unit.

Labour’s Cllr Terry O’Brien accused the retail giant of holding the town to ransom while Independent Cllr Sam Locke said that the retailer had “thrown” council overtures “back in our face, time and time again”.


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