The news that retailer Frazers Group is opening a new store in Mahon Point Shopping Center has been hailed as another ‘vote of confidence’ in Cork City.
The new store is located in the unit formerly occupied by Debenhams until its closure in April 2020, and is one of two new stores scheduled to open in Ireland.
The stores will be the group’s first in Ireland, while the others will be located in the Whitewater Shopping Center in Kildare. Both centers are owned by the German Deka Fund.
James France, president of Global Leasehold Property at Frasers Group, said the new openings will create « a significant number of jobs ».
The Frasers will sell a range of beauty products, fashion, accessories and children’s clothing, and will boast a beauty parlor and a mix of hundreds of brands.
Sports Direct will also operate in the new Mahon Point and Whitewater stores.
The openings will take a phased opening approach, starting with Sports Direct, due to open later this year, and luxury lifestyle destination, Frasers, due to open in early 2022.
Speaking to The Echo about news of the new Cork store, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Colm Kelleher welcomed the announcement.
“We have had such a large retail space vacant since Debenhams left the Irish market.
« This shows that a major international company is showing confidence in Cork and we hope that they will start looking for other vacant units in the city, in particular the old Roches department store building, » he said.
News of the new Cork store has prompted some to suggest that Frasers Group should consider offering jobs to former Debenhams employees, which Mr Kelleher said he would like to see.
“Of course this is entirely up to the company itself but for me it would be illogical to hire [former Debenhams] “Staff are familiar with the building and have experience,” he said.
Carol Ann Bridgeman, a former long-serving employee at Debenhams Mahon Point, welcomed the news of Fraser’s occupation of the unit and said it would be « a light at the end of the tunnel » if former Debenhams employees were given job opportunities at the new store.
« It’s definitely positive for Mahon Point and job prospects, » she said.
“There was a great workforce at Mahon Point.
“The service provided is second to none.
“We had regular clients coming in all the time and we really built a relationship with people,” she said.
Conor Healey, CEO of Cork Chamber Company, also welcomed the news of the new Cork store.
“It is very welcome news that Frasers is set to open at Mahon Point Shopping Center, creating a significant number of new jobs in the city.
“With a growing population, Cork City is a prime location for retail businesses.
« Cork has a proven track record of attracting investment and today’s Fraser Group announcement is another vote of confidence in our city, » he said.
The new units deal was brokered by Peter O’Meara and Kevin Sweeney of Savills, on behalf of Deka, with Karl Stewart of Cushman and Wakefield on behalf of the tenant.
Peter O’Meara, Retail Director of Savills Ireland, described the deals as « a massive boost for the Irish retail market ».
“They are demonstrating that despite the challenges of the retail market, the centers that dominate their trade area will continue to attract the best retailers.
« The positive impact on both malls will be significant, as Fraser will introduce an expanded product offering – in new modern fixtures – which will boost footfall for all retailers on site, » he continued.
A spokesperson for Deka Immobilien, owners of Mahon Point and Whitewater malls commented:
« We are delighted to have a strong new partner at Fraser in Mahon Point and Whitewater and wish them every success in the future. » Mahon Point Shopping Center is Münster’s largest shopping destination, with more than 60 shops, restaurants and cafes as well as 13 cinema screens.
« Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante. »