Apple’s long-awaited Apple Store for Ireland may be about to finally become a reality and the former Clerys store on O’Connell Street in Dublin is the likely location.
We’re never ones to blow our own trumpets over here at Siliconrepublic.com, but it was among our predictions two years ago.
A flagship Apple Store on Dublin’s main thoroughfare makes sense; not only because Dublin is one of the few principal cities of Europe not to have one yet, but because of Apple and Ireland’s special relationship that goes back to the early 1980s when Apple established its first overseas operation in Cork.
On a recent visit to Ireland, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed Apple was announcing 1,000 new jobs at its Cork operation where it already has 5,000 employees.
The company is also building an €850m data centre in Athenry, Galway.
It is understood that Natrium, the consortium that bought the Clerys store in Dublin for €29m, is trying to lure Apple to open a flagship retail outlet on the ground floor of the site, according to The Irish Times.
It is understood that no deal has been agreed and Apple has not signalled any plans to open a Dublin store.
The Clerys building was built in 1853, was completely destroyed in the 1916 Rising, and, controversially, the Clerys department store was closed in 2015 with trading ceasing immediately and staff – some of whom had served for 40 years – lost their jobs.
Making O’Connell Street elegant again
Putting an Apple Store on O’Connell Street would also help improve and rejuvenate the fashionable image of Ireland’s principal thoroughfare, which, in recent years, has been neglected and allowed to decline into a tawdry jumble of fast food restaurants and gaming emporiums.
An Apple Store on O’Connell Street could change the tone of the neighbourhood and attract new retailers to what was once the heart of commerce in Dublin.
Apple has about 463 Apple Stores worldwide and leases 5.3m square feet of retail space. All of Apple’s stores are powered by renewable energy.
The location makes sense as Apple tends to locate its Apple Stores in elegant, historic buildings.
Inside, the Apple Stores are airy and spacious, characterised by tables on which the company’s hardware is neatly presented, spiralling glass stairs and an overall minimalist but aesthetically pleasing feel.
The former Clerys building has an impressive façade, enormous windows and is in keeping with the architectural look and feel of most Apple Stores.
Inside the Apple Store (photos)
Only this week I popped into the Apple Store in Amsterdam and was struck by the amount of space given to allowing customers to calmly peruse Apple’s five main hardware families – Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV – as well as services like Music and various peripherals.
Clerys O’Connell Street main image via Shutterstock