Belfast Telegraph

Kildare Village’s expansion to add 31 new boutiques

By Michael Cogley

The owners of shopping destination Kildare Village expect its latest expansion of 31 new boutiques to add up to 380 new jobs.

The shopping park is one of the Republic’s most exclusive retail centres.

Value Retail Dublin was granted planning permission late last year for a sizeable capital investment — believed to be around €70m (£62m) — to expand and upgrade its outlet mall. The development, expected to be completed by 2021, will have 131 units.

The company has performed strongly, registering double-digit annual growth last year despite challenges posed by traditional retail.

Desiree Bollier, chairwoman of the Bicester Village Shopping Collection, of which Kildare is a part, said that a series of “cumulative bad decisions” caused the downturn in the fortunes of retail.

“People took the customer for granted, sales people disappeared because it was costing money, seating areas were costing areas of selling, the whole thing went away from being customer-centric to being so bottom-line driven,” she said.

“The customer bit by bit began asking ‘what is this?’ And it was at that point digital was rising. Retail became a distribution channel, no longer an experience, and digital came in for a distribution channel. It did not happen overnight.”

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Ms Bollier said Kildare Village had been “extremely successful” in for helping customers discover brands.

“We are a major recruiter of full-price customers for a lot of these brands,” she said.

“When we first opened, many brands didn’t have a flagship here, like Ted Baker — we were a marketplace point of entry for them. I’m envisaging the same scenario will happen with the next phase.”

Belfast Telegraph