Country's largest shopping centre to create 4,000 jobs

Over 4,000 new jobs will be created tomorrow as the country’s largest shopping centre throws open its doors.

Over 4,000 new jobs will be created tomorrow as the country’s largest shopping centre throws open its doors.

Hordes of shoppers are expected to converge on Dundrum Town Centre ensuring it churns out millions of euro for the local economy.

A spokesman for the centre said: “Around 4,000 jobs in total will be created in phase one, with a hundred million euro wage bill.”

The premier brands, which are opening exclusive stores in the complex during the €850m first phase, include Lacoste, Furla and Hugo Boss.

“We are building it for everyone, people can choose from everything including Next, Penneys and Marks & Spencers,” he said.

The project’s director, Don Nugent, has estimated that it will generate more than €130m each year in tax returns to the Exchequer.

Swedish clothing chain, Hennes & Mauritz, better known as H&M, will also launch its onslaught on the Irish retail market with its first store in the Republic opening at the centre.

“We have already identified two further high profile retail spaces and look forward to eventually bringing H&M to Ireland on a national basis,” said Richard Din, H&M UK and Ireland manager.

H&M are planning to open a stores in the Liffey Valley shopping mall and Mary Street in Dublin city centre by the end of the year.

The first phase of the shopping centre, which will open its tills tomorrow, will see leading brands including Timberland, BT2, Zara, G-Star, Monsoon and Principles spread across 850,000sq feet.

Dundrum Town Centre, which is the largest enclosed retail space in the country, believe they will attract up to 50,000 customers for tomorrow’s opening day.

Some of the other main shops include Molton Brown, Butlers Chocolates, Sony, Café Rankin, Eason & Son, Virgin Megastore, L’Occitane, Weir & Sons Jewellers and leading children’s stores Ladybird, Mamas & Papas, as well as Daisy & Tom.

Fashion store H&M is celebrating the opening with an invite only party tonight for 600 people including Kerry Katona, Samantha Mumba, writer Cecilia Ahern, Georgina Byrne and the band D-side.

The centre will then hold an official opening ceremony tomorrow to mark the first day of trading at the mall.

The 12-screen multiplex cinema and a 160-seat community theatre will open during the autumn.

A final 500,000 sq feet will open in spring 2008 alongside a hotel and more retail outlets.

The idea for the centre began well over five years ago as part of the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown development plan after it emerged that almost half of the area’s wealth was being spent outside the region.

Around 3,500 construction workers have been developing the massive site over the last four years, with around 500 merchandise and retail staff joining them over the last few months.

The light tram system, which runs by the southside shopping mall, is placing additional capacity on the Luas green line to cope with demand during the opening period.

Management at Dundrum Town Centre have predicted that a fifth of all visitors to the mall will travel by Luas – which is just a 12-minute ride from the city centre.

The centre, which is near the M50 motorway in south Dublin, also holds 3,400 car parking spaces.

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