So we've finally reached the endgame, as we've watched Clerys crawling towards inevitable receivership for the past number of years. Who do we think will take over this tired and increasingly irrelevant grand institution? Will John Lewis take the opportunity to escape the doomed Carlton scheme, or is the Irish market still too depressed to consider?
Either way, one cannot envisage Clerys surviving in anything even remotely like its current guise, with almost every facet of its current incarnation, with the exception of cosmetics and some limited areas of older women's fashion, being the antithesis of a modern retailing experience.
In spite of the limited investment charted above, the place needs a radical overhaul, with nothing short of the return to the original galleried design being required to introduce high-impact rebranding and a higher order shopping environment. Failing a takeover by an international multiple, surely a major staple for a prestigious store located on the virtual airport terminal that is O'Connell Street is a substantial food hall, specialising in fresh Irish foods, artisan produce, and affordable dining in a host of formats, from counter to café to restaurant.
A delightful video here showing the original galleried layout, waiting to be uncovered through the stripping out of those ghastly escalator shafts and surrounding infill ceilings. The original beautiful 1920s bracketed light fittings can be seen responding to each column, however the lamps themselves look suspiciously 1930s in character. I recall more elegant luminares in 1920s photographs... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN4axg_0 ... e=youtu.be