Penneys expected to open Wicklow store at Bray Central

Bray Central as seen from Main Street.

Cllr Erika Doyle.

Simon BourkeBray People

It is looking increasingly likely that Wicklow shoppers will be able to avail of their own Penneys store in the coming months as speculation mounts that the popular retailer is to join the recently-opened Bray Central Shopping Centre.

Although not officially confirmed it is believed Penneys will open in Bray late this year or in early 2024.

In further good news for the county Sports Direct is also expected to become part of Bray Central by the end of the year.

Having opened last November, Bray Central currently has a number of restaurants open for business and will soon include a five screen cinema and bowling alley.

However, the news that Ireland’s most beloved shopping experience will be soon be part of the centre will come as a huge boost to the local economy.

Erika Doyle is the Cathaoirleach of the Bray Municipal District and a Green Party councillor, and she said these potential additions would be a positive for the town.

“While any announcement will have to come from the brands themselves, obviously this move would be welcomed by the people of Bray, both in terms of retail offering and local employment,” said Cllr Doyle. “I spoke with the developers just before Christmas and they were confident that lettings would be strong this year.

“Bray Central has been finished to a very high standard and I’m looking forward to watching it evolve and grow in the coming year.”

The shopping centre has been developed by Oakmount, a development company owned and ran by Paddy McKillen. When asked to confirm whether Penneys was soon to be added to Bray Central, a spokesperson for Oakmount said, “We can’t comment on tenants or prospective tenants.”

Similarly, Primark Stores Limited, which is responsible for the Penneys brand in Ireland, refused to confirm or deny a possible new store in Wicklow.

“We continually review opportunities for expansion of the Penneys business however, as you’d expect, we don’t comment on speculation about where or when we might open our next stores,” said a spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Oakmount has applied to Wicklow County Council for planning permission to change the use of the first and second floors at Bray Central to 25 apartments as there had been “little to no commercial appetite or demand” to use this as a retail space.

Amid the excitement of the arrival of Penneys and the possibility of further additions, Cllr Doyle reminded shoppers to continue to support long-standing businesses in the town.

“It’s important to remember that the final sign off on the development was only made in October so a number of tenants are currently negotiating their own individual leases and fit outs,” said Cllr Doyle.

“And while I welcome the mooted arrival of the stores into Bray, I would also encourage people to hook into the circular economy when it comes to clothing.”

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