By Cate McCurry, PA
The long-awaited Penneys store in Tallaght has opened to customers, taking the company’s total number of outlets in Ireland to 37.
A huge crowd gathered early on Thursday morning, with the queue stretching outside the doors of the Square Shopping Centre, to await the opening of the popular retailer.
The new store was officially opened by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
It follows a €10 million investment that has created 300 jobs for the area and is part of Primark’s commitment to invest €250 million in Ireland over the next 10 years.
It is the first new Penneys store in Dublin in six years – the branch in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre opened in December 2016.
Located on the ground floor of The Square, it is one of the largest fashion stores at the shopping centre with 43,500 square feet of retail space and a Nails beauty salon.
On Wednesday, Primark opened its second store in the Czech Republic – in the city of Brno – and on Friday it will launch its 56th store in Spain – in San Sebastian.
This will take the total number of Primark stores worldwide to 408.
Speaking at the opening, Mr Martin said: “I am delighted to be in Tallaght for the opening of this store, which represents a further significant investment by Penneys and overall in terms of Ireland, particularly this location which will be of benefit to many families.
“I am conscious that it’s on a site that was closed by the previous companies, so there is an opportunity for employment for people in the retail sector, and that is important.
“It reflects continuing investment in Ireland of very significant scale. In the last two weeks alone, I have been at very significant announcements.
“Penneys is at the centre of Irish and international retail, and its success continues to prove how valued the brand is in our lives in Ireland.
“The jobs announced today is testament to Primark’s strength and continued growth.
“Penneys is a significant employer in Ireland and internationally, and its growth brings footfall back to our towns and cities in Ireland.
“I congratulate all at Primark on today’s opening in Tallaght and wish this beloved retailer continued success.”
Primark chief executive Paul Marchant said: “Today is a proud day for everyone at Penneys as we open our brand new store in Tallaght and continue to expand in our home market.
“We are thrilled to welcome our colleagues and customers into this new store to experience the best of fashion retail.
“We know our customers have been waiting for Penneys at The Square for a long time and we are delighted to finally open our doors to this great community.
“We know now, more than ever, how much it matters to our customers that we stay true to our mission of offering something for everyone at prices that are affordable to as many as possible.
“Our continued growth demonstrates the confidence and commitment we have in our Irish business, and we are proud to continue to play our part in supporting Irish cities, towns and communities.”
Penneys treated customers to a warm welcome, including a performance from local dance troupe Phoenix Dance Academy, branded Penneys treats, a live DJ in store, and a bespoke photo wall to capture their first visit.