Brown Thomas Arnotts’ (BTA) new outlet at Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin opens today following a €12m investment.
The investment will be seen as a big bet on the post-pandemic retail trade and comes as BTA’s parent is in the process of being bought in a £4bn deal led by Thailand's Central Group.
The Covid pandemic has been widely tipped to accelerate a decline in physical retail but BTA managing director Donald McDonald said that was not borne out by evidence on the ground with BTA sales last year beating 2019 as reduced footfall was offset by higher spending shoppers.
The 62,000 square ft Dundrum store features a number of innovations for the group such as clothes rental and big focuses on technology and enhanced customer experience including a concierge service for shoppers.
“This is setting the standard for technology and for the retail experience,” Donald McDonald said.
New features developed for Dundrum will be rolled out across all of the remaining stores in the chain over the next 12 months, he said.
Two new customers apps will also be launched this year, reflecting a dual focus on instore and digital retail, he said.
The group has recruited 400 staff for the new site, including 220 full time roles. McDonald said the BTA brands had given the company an edge in terms of recruitment in a tight labour market.