Blacktie sizes up British presence

MEN’S formal wear retailer Blacktie is understood to be sizing up opportunities for expansion into the British market, with London believed to be its primary focus.

The company has already made noises about upping its portfolio of Irish shops — which number 14 — to include both Galway and Belfast.

The company has one store each in Waterford, Cork and Limerick and another 11 in the greater Dublin area.

The company is owned by entrepreneur Niall O’Farrell, who also owns the Dublin-based Henry Jermyn shirt retailer, but is run by his fellow executives, Brian O’Flaherty and Mark Byrne.

It is thought Mr O’Farrell is gearing up to sell the Blacktie business over the course of the next 12-18 months after refurbishing all of its stores and expanding its number of shops.

At the end of last year, it started its store refurbishment programme with a €500,000 overhaul of its flagship shop in Blackrock, south Co Dublin.

Blacktie’s most recent accounts show a gross profit of €4.7 million for 2006 — up from €4.6m the year before — and a fall in operating profit from €736,000 to €470,000. That was attributed to rising wages and operating costs.


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