Re: Re: Grafton Street, Dublin

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There is a reason for the decline of the East end of Oxford Street; approximately 50 – 80 shops have been CPO’d to be demolished for the delivery of Cross Rail from Dean Street to TCR These took place in late 2008 but that it was going to happen has been known for years. Consequently retailers won’t spend the c£500k it takes to fit out or refit and then the retailers leave to a location where they can refit. Landlords were left with an assortment of choices restricted to cheap rags and shit goods operators to choose from until they get paid via the CPO. Conversely most of the few national / International retailers that were lease bound have now moved further towards Oxford Circus which has helped that middle section dramatically. But until TfL take full possession of these repossessed properties it will ressemble Burnley on a bad day. Once the consortium led by Land Sec redevelop the mixed use TCR interchange it will be an altogether different proposition with a huge quantum of office workers adding to demand.

Lauder you would have to guess that Dunnes are keeping the Grafton Street store as leverage in any negotiations they may have with Stephens Green SC; no doubt when they get the optimimum position from the centre they’ll instruct someone to get a new tenant for what is highly marketable space; that is assuming they don’t develop a new retail concept or buy an existing one leveraging tough retail conditions internationally; few retailers manage their cost base as effectively as DS.

Laura Ashley are also restructuring their retail model; they are expanding Internationally but cutting back on the number of stores in their more mature markets. Recent UK research indicates that most retailers would be a lot more profitable if they stuck to the top 30-40 retail destinations and ditched the other say 100-500 shops they have. This theory if applied to the Irish market could see a dramatic rise in the demand for streets like Grafton Street, Hernry Street and Cork’s Patrick Street at the expense of towns such as say Kilkenny, Mullingar etc. What Grafton Street has to offer is that the stretch from Nassau Street to the Green is all more akin to South Molton Street than Oxford Street in terms of retail ambience and standard of retailer but has the reputation in the local market as the dominent retail choice.

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