Pictured following the jobs announcement are Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail and Paul Marchant, Chief Executive Officer, Primark.

Pennys Cork to almost double in size

Penneys on Patrick Street is set to receive a massive €60 million expansion as part of an overall €250 million capital investment in the chain across the country.

The investment will see the popular store in Cork city centre almost double in size with a 47 per cent increase in total retail space, pending planning permission.

Primark, the international retailer operating as Penneys in Ireland, aims to create more than 700 jobs in Ireland over the next three years. These new roles will add to the 5,000 strong Penneys retail workforce in the country.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar welcomed the news, calling it a strong vote of confidence in the retail sector.

“It’s creating significant employment with 700 new jobs and will also help to secure footfall in our towns and cities once we emerge from the pandemic. Penneys is one of Ireland’s best-known retailers and also an international success story, having driven significant global expansion over the last few of years. Much of this success is thanks to access to a talented workforce in Ireland.”

The €250 million investment includes one new store location, one relocated store, other existing store redevelopments and the development of a state-of-the-art warehousing and distribution facility in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

Primark is also recruiting 100 new roles over the next six months at its global headquarters at Arthur Ryan House, based above the Penneys flagship store on Dublin’s Mary Street.

Primark CEO, Paul Marchant said: “We are proud to announce a significant long-term investment in our Penneys business to improve and grow our Irish stores. We hugely value our incredibly loyal Irish customers who have supported us over the years. Ireland will always be our first and home market, and we remain as committed as ever to our employees, customers, and stores here. Our investment plans demonstrate the confidence and commitment we have to Penneys in Ireland. We plan to remain at the centre of Irish retail for a long time to come.”

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English said: “Retail is the largest private sector employer in Ireland and supports jobs in every city, town and village throughout the country. A 12 per cent growth in employee numbers for a business like Penneys further demonstrates the strength and resilience of the retail sector and will have a hugely positive impact on the industry as a whole.”

Primark also intends to accelerate the pace of its expansion in the US market, building on strong trading and a growing brand awareness.

Over the next five years, Primark expects the US store estate to grow to some 60 stores, while its global estate is expected to grow from 399 stores currently to 530 stores.

Primark’s 400th store is set to open in Sicily next week.