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American Apparel’s failure to arrive won’t give Grafton Street major boost

If you’re still wondering what’s happening with the proposed arrival of American Apparel to Dublin, did you see this article in the Sunday Tribune*?

AMERICAN Apparel, the popular US fashion retailer, is no longer to open in Ireland after not taking up a lease on a building at Grafton Street in Dublin.

Retail experts contacted following the original announcement welcomed its entry into Ireland, but now acknowledge that there will now no longer be the major boon previously expected for the country’s premier retail street.

American Apparel’s website still states it is to open soon at 114 Grafton Street, close to the main entrance to Trinity College, which has 16,000 students providing a ready market. However, the estate agents HWBC are advertising  the site as a “landmark retail property“.

“I can’t confirm that a letting has been agreed. A new entrant to the Irish market will not now open there before Christmas or after Christmas, or any time in the future,” said HWBC director Mervyn Ellis*, who is still letting the building on behalf of landlord Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM). He said he could not comment further. Ellis had been quoting a rent of €1m a year for the building after ILIM invested €4m to make the building more accessible.

American Apparel produces its clothes in the US. It has over 180 shops and will soon have a presence in 21 20 countries.

* This article didn’t actually appear in the Sunday Tribune, and the people “quoted” didn’t actually say those things.

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Is American Apparel still coming to Dublin?

I’m not familiar with how property managers and estate agents handle a property where a deal has just been completed, but from experience, you’re more likely to see a big fat “SOLD” or “SALE AGREED” or “LET BY” to show that the deal’s been done.

You won’t see a “For Details contact HWBC” and then a “To Let” feature on the estate agents website. This appears to be the case for 114 Grafton Street where we were told back in September that American Apparel were to open a new store – and before Christmas at that.

Passing there one evening this week after work, the place is empty with the “contact us” stickers on the doors.

I wonder have the plans of American Apparel fallen foul of the “current economic climate”?

Update Here: American Apparel’s failure to arrive won’t give Grafton Street major boost

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