Roches Stores gone!

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 11 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #708829

    GregF
    Participant

    See that Debenhams have bought Roches Stores. The end of another Irish brand on the high streets.

  • #783976

    Anonymous

    Roches Stores exits retail business

    August 08, 2006 10:35
    One of the best known names in the Irish retail business, Roches Stores, is to sell 10 of its 11 stores, though it will continue to own the properties. 90 jobs will go as a result of the move.
    British department store chain Debenhams has confirmed that it will take over nine of the outlets in the Republic of Ireland. The stores are: Henry Street in Dublin; Blanchardstown; Blackrock; Tallaght; Patrick Street in Cork; Limerick; Tralee; Galway and Waterford. Debenhams is paying €29m for the stores’ assets, and will lease the properties from Roches.
    Marks & Spencer has acquired the Roches outlet in the Wilton Shopping Centre just outside Cork City, while Roches’ home and gift store in Nutgrove in Dublin will close with the loss of 14 jobs. The company’s support office in Sandyford in Dublin will also shut with the loss of 77 buying and administrative jobs.
    Roches, which employed 2,000 people at the 11 stores, says the remaining staff will transfer to Debenhams and Marks & Spencer.
    Debenhams already has stores in Dublin, Cork and Newbridge. It plans to convert the new outlets over the next six to 12 months. The Wilton store will open in Spring 2007 and will be Marks & Spencer’s 15th in the Republic.
    A statement from Roches Stores said the deal was subject to Competition Authority approval, but full transfer of the stores was expected by September 6. All stores will trade normally as Roches Stores up to this date.
    It said its main aim was to sell the business as a going concern to protect the maximum number of jobs

    © RTÉ 2006 Terms & Conditions

  • #783977

    Anonymous

    What will happen on Henry St/Jervis St? Surely Debenhams are not going to operate two large stores so close to one another.

  • #783978

    Anonymous

    @d_d_dallas wrote:

    What will happen on Henry St/Jervis St? Surely Debenhams are not going to operate two large stores so close to one another.

    I couldn’t get that either unless they are intending to move to the Roches premises. In that case there would be a substantial site within the Jervis Centre available. It could be interesting times for Henry St ahead.

  • #783979

    admin
    Keymaster

    I’m sure that a suplus unit in the Jervis Centre will be least of Debbenhams worries and I’m sure that subject to landlords consent that the unit could be divided into two units i.e. one at ground and a second relating to the upper floors.

    It is however a pity to see a great Irish retailer dissapear and really highlights the success that Clearys and to a greater extent Arnotts have acheived by being profitable enough to resist the many approaches they have doubtlessly received over the years.

    Henry St is really emerging as a very intensive retail pitch on a large scale

  • #783980

    Anonymous

    Well this is sad news, but I guess its inevitable given the growing international nature of the retail sector. Its a pity to see another indigenous company leave our high streets: they are the poorer for it.

    What will become of these town prime pitches brings to mind something that I have been mulling over for a while. We are being constantly told the amount of big brands looking for space in Dublin city: Zara, H&M, John Lewis, GAP…any number of names are put forward. The reason they can’t find anywhere suitable is due to the lack of big store sites and the prevalence (especially in Grafton Street) of small units. So why have we not seen any major changes in the structure of the city centre. There have of course been some big changes – Jervis Centre and a revamped Ilac (although to me this remains the greatest waste of space in the city). Also we have new projects in the pipeline at South King Street and Arnotts (to be announced this month I think).

    But why nothing more radical? Why do streets such as Liffey Street, Mary Street, Malborough St, North Earl Street and Talbot Street remain relatively untouched by this retail boom. And indeed why has OConnell Street not seen a marked upswing. I am not sure how this new spread of Henry Street into Parnell Street wil work out. The two latest projects, Ivy Building and corner of Kings Inn Street, are still empty.

    Any thoughts on the future of retail in the city…or rather the ability of retail to dramatically alter the current structure of the city centre?

  • #783981

    Anonymous

    Sorry to differ but Roches Stores (Henry St apart) has been rubbish for years. Made no real effort to compete, the Roches were happy with the property portfolio and that was that. As for the Henry Street store and Jervis Street I’ll see what I can find out but think they can coexist given Henry Street is largely rented out to concessions and there’s little if any crossover in terms of brands.

    @StephenC wrote:

    So why have we not seen any major changes in the structure of the city centre. But why nothing more radical? Why do streets such as Liffey Street, Mary Street, Malborough St, North Earl Street and Talbot Street remain relatively untouched by this retail boom. And indeed why has OConnell Street not seen a marked upswing. I am not sure how this new spread of Henry Street into Parnell Street wil work out. The two latest projects, Ivy Building and corner of Kings Inn Street, are still empty.

    Basically it’s down to footfall and landbanking. Arnotts is obviously landbanking around Henry Street, Liffey Street and Abbey Street. Mary Street is awkward because there are a lot of disparate owners and why would they sell when retail rents are surging and their investment is increasing in value all the time. Talbot Street and North Earl Street doesn’t have the footfall to make it worthwhile, North Earl Street is hampered by Clerys owning lots of property there – why sell to a competitor – and Arnotts apparent reversal of its decision to sell the Boyers store. Marlborough Street is too far away from retail core. O’Connell St is still regarded as a hole in retail terms. Obviously Joe O’Reilly has plans to link the Millennium Mall up with the Ilac Centre but that legal dispute will probably drag on for years, it’ll be interesting to see what Shelbourne Developments do with the old Eircom building – the Moore Mall was a disaster retail wise for them. The Ivy building is very much a tertiary location and will eventually find a tenant but probably nobody of major interest.
    The city council’s plan is to join up the Grafton Street/Henry Street retail areas via South Great Georges Street and Temple Bar. I’m a bit sceptical about that but it’s time to wait and see…

  • #783982

    Anonymous

    I hope Debenhams don’t pull out of Mahon Point in Cork now. If they do there are rumours of Pennys occupying the space and if they do I suspect many others like Zara may close aswell. It would take the prestige of the place hugely down. What we need is a John Lewis, Arnotts or House of Fraser

  • #783983

    Anonymous

    @hafez wrote:

    I hope Debenhams don’t pull out of Mahon Point in Cork now. If they do there are rumours of Pennys occupying the space and if they do I suspect many others like Zara may close aswell. It would take the prestige of the place hugely down. What we need is a John Lewis, Arnotts or House of Fraser

    what you need is for mahon point to close down , and the shops to move back into the city .

  • #783984

    Anonymous

    @a boyle wrote:

    what you need is for mahon point to close down , and the shops to move back into the city .

    One of the main criticisms of Mahon Point is that so many of the shops that opened there already operated (and still operate) in the city centre. The extension should solve many of those problems. I think people are being a bit silly in thinking Cork city can’t handle two shops from the same brand. A lot of people shopping in Mahon Point come from Midleton direction

  • #783985

    Anonymous

    i was just trying to get at the whole ‘shopping center’ idea. they are far more trouble than they are worth

  • #783986

    Anonymous

    @a boyle wrote:

    i was just trying to get at the whole ‘shopping center’ idea. they are far more trouble than they are worth

    I speak as someone who lives in the city centre, who does not own a car and who does almost all of his shopping in the city centre.

    As an idea the elimination of shopping centres so that everyone can go shopping in the city centre is just completely impractical. Shopping centres provide a more family friendly environment that allows my sister to bring her children to the shops too. For very young children, this is next to impossible in the city centre.

    Also, for the transportation of a large number of goods (including the weekly shopping for a family), a car is the only practical means to do it. Do you really believe someone could carry back all those bags on the bus or train? The same could be applied to the purchase of any number of bulky goods.

    The idea that the city centre is the place to shop is great and true for those of us who are young, fit adults, but for families with children, the disabled or the elderly, shopping centres provide a much more sympathetic environment.

  • #783987

    Anonymous

    it seems to work in such large cities as paris, i think that problems of access a largely overstated and unfounded.

    perhaps it is the fact that there are not that many medium sized supermarkets in our cities , so as to have one within a ten minute walk (perhaps because of poor density)

    If a person can get in a car drive out to whatever suburban center , they still have to push their kids around the shop ,just as the elderly person still has walk around the shop too.

    The only reason the city is so full of cars , taking up space which should rightly be for pedestrians , is because of all the people are living in the suburbs in the first place.

    No, suburban living gives a false impression of improved life mobility for such groups of people. It has blighted america and is blighting ireland.

  • #783988

    Anonymous

    I’m not sure I’d welcome the sanitisation of the city centre that would come with making it family friendly. There are reasons I choose it above suburban centres and the fact that it tends to cater to a demographic similar to me is one of those. I’d rather not see Cork City Centre become like Mahon Point or Dublin City Centre become like Liffey Valley.

    Incidentally, you’ll find that the population of Paris is increasingly made up of young single adults.

  • #783989

    Anonymous

    The 2 Roches stores that are not going to Debenhams are

    – Wilton centre in Cork, taken by Marks & Spencers for around €2m.
    – Nutgrove in Dublin (Rathfarnham) which is due to close.

    Interesting that Nutgrove in general appears to be struggling now that Dundrum is open. I wonder how much longer the shopping center will be there?

  • #783990

    Anonymous

    @lotts wrote:

    Interesting that Nutgrove in general appears to be struggling now that Dundrum is open. I wonder how much longer the shopping center will be there?

    there were rumours that nutgrove was planning a big extension a large residential development, maybe this is part of that . but yiu are probably right

  • #783991

    Anonymous

    This is quite timely in light of the news about Roches this week. The IT also notes that GAP are moving into the irish market with a big concession in Arnotts to open later this year including street frontage on Henry Street. H&M are also intending on expanding.

    Defending against ‘la Londonisation’

    Other European countries are protecting their shops from the predatory claws of the multi national brands, writes Deirdre McQuillan, Fashion Editor.

    Around where I stay in Paris during fashion week, I am surrounded by cafes, restaurants and small shops selling everything from kitchenware and lingerie to jewellery, cakes, clothes and antiques. Small independent retail and artisanal outlets are part of the attraction and pleasure of the French capital, along with great butchers, vegetable, fruit and cheese shops, not to speak of florists and bakeries at nearly every turn. It’s a standard of life that French city centres are accustomed to and its vibrancy and survival are down to French planning laws.

    In l973 the Royer Act was passed to protect small shops, improve the quality of urban life and prevent “inordinate growth of new forms of distribution that squeeze out small entrepreneurs”. Its Commission for Commercial Urbanisation evaluates each planning application on merit and is entrusted to ensure a good balance of all forms of commerce. There are regulations on direct selling, discount selling and advertising and on the encouragement of artisan trading. Its chambers of commerce are far more powerful and have greater responsibilities for trading than their Irish equivalents.

    In other parts of Europe it’s the same. In Rome, another shopping haven, landmark shops are protected from the predatory claws of multinational brands and franchises by an alliance called the Association of Rome’s Historic Shops, which makes shopping and strolling for the visitor such a treat. The association promotes “and defends the values” of shops that have existed for over a hundred years and are considered to be institutions by Romans. Many are still in the ownership of the same families and are cherished emblems of the traditions and culture of the city.

    Though Italy under Berlusconi welcomed globalisation, Rome has still managed to resist Starbucks (which has nearly 500 outlets in the UK) and when an intended McDonalds site was announced near the Spanish Steps, it prompted a massive demonstration that propelled the fledgling slow food movement into the fast lane. The McDonalds did eventually open, but the golden arches were noticeable only for being uncharacteristically discreet.

    According to a 2001 report, most OECD countries have special regulations that apply to retail premises, over and above regular urban planning regulations. Only five countries, of which Ireland is one, do not have special measures. Dublin City Council, however, is in the process of putting special planning controls in place to micromanage the balance of retail uses in designated city-centre areas.

    Copenhagen was transformed from a declining urban centre into the thriving and reinvigorated city it is today thanks to the work of the visionary architect Jan Gehl. “If you asked people 20 years ago why they went to central Copenhagen they would have said it was to shop,” he says. “But if you ask them today, they would say because they want to go to town.” Note the difference. To walk down Stroget, the Danish equivalent of Grafton Street, is to encounter appealing diversity and local character, small shops alongside specialist Danish department stores with plenty of places to sit and linger. Gehl formulated 12 steps, including places to sit, as central to city management strategies. In Barcelona, Las Ramblas is another successful public place at the heart of that city’s revival.

    However, the picture in the UK, as in Ireland, is quite different. So-called retail-led development like urban malls or big chain store shopping has resulted in places which, according to Anna Minton in a recent article in the Guardian, are privatised enclaves “that look the same, are cut off from local people and the local environment and are characterised instead by a fake, theme park atmosphere”. She reports that there is a growing body of evidence that the replacement of independently owned shops isolates people and increases depression. “Having a thriving public life in cities does not depend on the types of shops, but on the approach to the place as a whole,” she argues.

    The French call the trend for a metropolis overrun by mobile-phone shops and fast food restaurants “la Londonisation” and have introduced regulations banning half of the 70,000 shops in Paris from ever becoming owned by such operations. The use of certain shops is safeguarded, so that a boulangerie remains a foodshop and a bookshop or greengrocer can’t be another multiple chain outlet. As other European capitals arrest a trend now proliferating around this country, the message is clear: don’t hollow out the heart of your city and keep it vibrant, otherwise watch its demise.

    © The Irish Times

  • #783992

    Anonymous

    😡 What a disgusting piece the Sunday Independent ran on the private lives of Staney Roche and Heide Braun on page 6 today.
    None of the UK red tops would stoop to such lows.
    If “Sire” Tony or any of his “chattels or possessions” such as his kids needed to write about infidelity or scuming it they could have looked a LOT closer to home (if they have such a thing) one would think.
    What a shower of pretentious wankers.:mad:

  • #783993

    Anonymous

    By contrast, some excellent stuff in The Sunday Business Post yesterday:

    Roches: End of an era

    Extraordinary they spent a whopping €75 million on the flagship Dublin store. The massive Arnotts extension ten years ago cost €60 million!

  • #783994

    Anonymous

    i could never understand this sentimentality. As long as the companies are willing build appriate fronts and appropriate signage , what is in a name?

    Just because it says debenhams, it is still worked by irsh people. This is not dublin turning into some english city , it’s dublin turning into an international city, where global brands sit alongside local ones.

    It is not as if roches was making it own clothing so what difference does it make.

    You don’t see people crying over eircell becoming vodafone.

    It is a bit sad but it not a big deal.

  • #783995

    Anonymous
    Graham Hickey wrote:
    By contrast, some excellent stuff in The Sunday Business Post yesterday:

    Roches: End of an era

    😎 What a difference..Must change my Sunday reading habits.

  • #783996

    Anonymous

    @a boyle wrote:

    i could never understand this sentimentality. As long as the companies are willing build appriate fronts and appropriate signage , what is in a name?

    Just because it says debenhams, it is still worked by irsh people. This is not dublin turning into some english city , it’s dublin turning into an international city, where global brands sit alongside local ones.

    It is not as if roches was making it own clothing so what difference does it make.

    You don’t see people crying over eircell becoming vodafone.

    It is a bit sad but it not a big deal.

    I would have a tendancy to agree, but if the profits arenot staying in ireland then i think it is a problem.

    These global brands (not sure debenams would be called that) are making one town indistinguishable from another. usa and britain especially. Outskirts of the towns those big box stores (walmart) sucking the life out of the main streets. Im a firm believer in the free market, but here in new york the ‘free market capitalist’ capital
    of the world they have managed to keep walmart out of the 5 boroughs, on the grounds that it would kill off a lot of indendant ‘mom and pop’ stores

  • #783997

    Anonymous

    Yes but i don’t think dublin will end up with a completely bland repeat of other cities.

    Grafton street will , but that is kind of what people want , they want lower(ish) prices.

    the rest of the city is awash with indigenous shops.

    And in some cases it’s a win some lose some.

    walmart had to close in germany,
    and starbucks has not been able to do very much in dublin at all, as the local brands are so strong (and in one or two cases carbon copies of starbucks)

  • #783998

    Anonymous

    It’s a wonder that any Irish retail brands are still in existence. Until Roches redeveloped their Henry St store, I was surprised that they hadn’t gone bust since their shops were pretty rubbishy. But then their new flagship store made me think they must be doing well…

    Anyway, RIP Roches Stores. I was in Arnotts the other day and I really like that shop. It’s got real character with it’s rambling and unique layout.. not like a bland M&S or Debenhams. I hope Clerys and Arnotts can stay independent.

    @Thomond Park wrote:

    I’m sure that a suplus unit in the Jervis Centre will be least of Debbenhams worries and I’m sure that subject to landlords consent that the unit could be divided into two units i.e. one at ground and a second relating to the upper floors.

    It is however a pity to see a great Irish retailer dissapear and really highlights the success that Clearys and to a greater extent Arnotts have acheived by being profitable enough to resist the many approaches they have doubtlessly received over the years.

    Henry St is really emerging as a very intensive retail pitch on a large scale

  • #783999

    Anonymous

    @a boyle wrote:

    Yes but i don’t think dublin will end up with a completely bland repeat of other cities.

    I dont agree with you…I think we are half way there. There is nothing in Dublin (from a retail perspective) to distinguish it from a small UK city. Debenhams, Boots, Topshop, River Island….etc all UK brands.

    Grafton street will , but that is kind of what people want , they want lower(ish) prices.
    the rest of the city is awash with indigenous shops.

    Is it really! I certainly never noticed that. Chain stores abound in Dublin (as they do most elsewhere these days) I actually think the indigenous range of stores in Dublin is very low and always has been since I can remember. Perhaps you could point out good examples of areas/streets “awash” with shops.

    and starbucks has not been able to do very much in dublin at all, as the local brands are so strong (and in one or two cases carbon copies of starbucks)

    Its possibly early days yet for Starbucks.

    Its not the end of the world that Roches has gone out of business….that true but I’m not convinced that its healthy that cities should just become carbon copies of each other. This is particularly so in retail as cities are becoming shopping destinations now. I think its good for a city to preserve and promote diversity.

    On the other hand, ultimately are people just getting what they want? Perhaps. It brings up that age old planning question: should we be saving the masses from themselves? :p Or rather from the market. I think the DCC initiative to regulate shops on Grafton Street is a good case of this and its worthwhile doing.

  • #784000

    Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more with what Stephen C has said. The Dublin shopping scene is increasingly at risk of becoming a complete copycat of any other British high street, apart from London and Manchester perhaps, which still retain a rich mix of retail diversity (Oxford Street, for example, has strict guidelines on what types of retail outlets can open up on the street). In Dublin, even on our main streets, all we seem to get nowadays is one endless convenience store or fastfood outlet after another, with perhaps the odd decent, classy shop thrown in if we’re lucky (i.e. Brown Thomas, Weirs, Reiss or Richard Alan).
    The sooner a ‘retail strategy’ is drawn up by DCC the better. Indeed, a recent article in the Irish Times highlighted the fact that Dublin is one of the very few major European cities which doesn’t have any type of proper legislation concerning retail use on its streets.
    Also, I’m still amazed at how poor the retail mix in Dublin has remained even though so many major fashion houses purportedly want to set up shop here.

  • #784001

    Anonymous

    @StephenC wrote:

    Is it really! I certainly never noticed that. Chain stores abound in Dublin (as they do most elsewhere these days) I actually think the indigenous range of stores in Dublin is very low and always has been since I can remember. Perhaps you could point out good examples of areas/streets “awash” with shops.

    talbot street , francis street , johnson court, temple bar.

    complaining about chain stores seems a bit trite to me really. the americans complain that we steal their jobs with lows taxes.

    there are swings and roundabouts to globalisation. switzers never made dublin , it is the other way around.

    in changing from roches to debenahms the change is simply in the name.

    there are only so many ways to sell chinese tshirts and shoes. It would be different if roches made their own clothes.

    while the pharmacy on grafton street went , the little one at the end of westland row ihasnt. and as far as i now still makes the same tonic which joyce wrote about a century ago.

  • #784002

    admin
    Keymaster

    Roches Stores shift almost complete
    Friday, 16 March 2007 07:42
    British store chain Debenhams has said total sales in the six months to March 3 increased by 5.8% compared with the same period last year.

    But, in a trading statement, the company said underlying sales, which strip out the effect of new stores, were down 4.5% in its UK retail business.

    Margins were also reduced because of the impact of integrating the Roches Stores it bought last year and lower clothes sales before Christmas.

    The company said seven of the nine Roches Stores had been converted to the Debenhams format and the other two would be completed in the next few months. It said trading at the stores was in line with expectations.

    Any news on the existing Debenhams store in the Jervis Centre?

  • #784003

    Anonymous

    ? Weird. The Roches in Cork has seen a disturbing drop in business (as far as I can see anyway) since Debs took over.

    Kudos on the Roches crowd for keeping ownership of the carpark though, they’re still raking it in 😀

  • #784004

    Anonymous

    I’m not actually in Ireland at the moment so I’m just curious how the change over from Roches to Debenhams has gone. Have most of the concession stores that Roches brought in disappeared to be replaced by Debenhams’ ones, or has the retail mix remained largely the same? Is the Zara store still there for example? Aslo, what will happen to the Debenhams store in Jervis?

  • #784005

    Anonymous

    The latter is a good question – I can’t see them both being sustained in the medium term. Also, given the orientation and floorplates of the Jervis store have been a bit of a disaster since the day it opened, there’s another incentive to get rid. Unless they just keep a small concession store here, an option would be for Next next door to expand into their ground floor – they’re crying out for more space, as bizarrely they don’t have a half decent store in the entire city centre. They don’t even have menswear in Jervis. Also both this store and Debenhams next door have become very dated – they’re almost on par with the cluttered heritage look of Brown Thomas from the early 90s. They’re also gloomily lit, and have a depressing atmosphere of low ceilings and poor orientation.

    Zara is still in Roches/Debenhams, the cash cow that it is, and even still opens and closes on its own terms. The concessions that Roches had operating, and were finally getting into the swing of too, were alas largely removed with the arrival of Debenhams. Most people I know think the store has taken a nose-dive, particularly the entire menswear floor. Roches were clearly heading in a European direction in ranges and presentation, whereas Debenhams have brought in UK high street frump central. The change from crisp lines and elegant displays to racks of dark frumpy anoracks couldn’t have been any more stark. They really cram their stock in too. There are signs of improvement however; it probably takes a while to get these things sorted.

    Yes Chris – I’ve also heard of business in Cork taking a nose-dive since the takeover. I can image sales in Dublin being up, but Cork can’t have been any great shakes.

  • #784006

    Anonymous

    what is happening in Wilton is there going to be a replacement found for Roches or are they just waiting for development to take place??

  • #784007

    Anonymous

    @leesider wrote:

    what is happening in Wilton is there going to be a replacement found for Roches or are they just waiting for development to take place??

    Unattractive terms are on offer to any large potential tenants as pre planning discussions in 2005 identified this site for a mixture of high rise apartments, a multi storey car park next to the SMA Church, small retail units, and a landmark tower on the corner site next to the Wilton roundabout.
    Howard Holdings took a back seat following negative publicity following the loss of 180 jobs, allowing Joe O’Donovan to do all the talking (or lack of it?)
    City manager, Joe Gavin favors this direction for the site despite local councilors Buttimer and Shields cribbing and crying at their coffee mornings, Lord Mayor Ahern, Fergal (son of John Dennehy TD) don’t seem to care one way or the other, and the San Francisco Kid Brian Bermingham has more important things on his mind, like trying to unstraighten Patrick’s Hill to make it like San Fran’s Lombard Street before his junket there this summer.

  • #784008

    Anonymous

    M&S were supposed to move in there, but the owner tried to fleece them for rent. M&S told him where to stuff it.

    Towers there probably wont happen, as its in the airports flight path.

  • #784009

    Anonymous

    I read recently in one of the commercial property supplements that Penneys were in advanced negotiations to take the space vacated by Roches after the M&S deal fell through. It would make sense for Penneys to want to add to their portfolio in Cork as they currently have only one store there on Patrick St. Not sure if this is still the case.

    Personally I think the landlord was greedy upping the rents to a beyond reasonable level for M&S as they have now lost a blue-chip anchor retailer that would have proved a significant draw to the centre. It just means that no-one living outside Bishopstown or Wilton would have any reason to go to this shopping centre now as there are no destination outlets there.

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