Carraig Donn opens its first UK store

Posted in Connect on October 28, 2015.

Carraig Donn, a fashion gift and homewares retailer based in Westport, has opened its first store in the UK at the large intu Metrocentre shopping mall at Gateshead, near Newcastle. They are also set to open another outlet in Sheffield next month.

The company’s boutique department store will sell items including women’s fashion at the Platinum Mall at the centre. The shop is its first outside Ireland. Carraig Donn, was established in 1965 and is owned by the Hughes family. It has 38 stores across Ireland with a workforce of  over 450 people. Based in Westport, in Co Mayo, it started selling Aran knitwear to tourists in Westport and on the Aran islands. The €1 million investment in the company’s United Kingdom expansion will create 30 new jobs across the two new stores as well as important management positions at the company’s headquarters in Westport.

Managing Director Patrick Hughes said the company had conducted extensive market research in both locations, and found a market niche for the brand. “The intu MetroCentre and Meadowhall in Sheffield are in the top five shopping centres in the UK. We believe that the Carraig Donn brand is a good demographic fit, and that there is a demand for our unique product set and our ‘boutique department store’ approach.” “We view this expansion as a learning curve in a new market, and it is our ambition to open further UK stores in the coming years.”

The business expects to see double digit growth for the current financial year in the Irish market, having recently opened two new stores in south Dublin at Dundrum and Nutgrove Shopping Centres. Turnover for the group in 2014 was €35 million

Carraig Donn was listed as one of Ireland’s Top 30 Stores for 2014 by Retail Excellence Ireland. In recent months, the company has also opened new stores in Navan, Waterford, Arklow and Dundalk. 2015 promises to be a busy year with Carraig Donn celebrating 50 years in business.

Carraig Donn is 100% Irish owned and operated. Its central warehouse, manufacturing plant, dispatch centre and e-commerce operations are all operated from Westport, Co. Mayo

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