IT'S the news that every Irish fashionista has been waiting for...Abercrombie & Fitch will finally open its doors in Dublin this year.
The much sought-after brand has given the green light to its College Green store, which will be situated in a section of the old Habitat building, opposite the Bank of Ireland.
The news that the store will open this year is music to the ears of shoppers and would be employees alike.
Abercrombie & Fitch is expected to hire up to 300 staff for the new premises, which will be situated over three storeys of the impressive former bank and listed building. The US store is famous for choosing buildings with spectacular structural detail.
The company has been fitting out the store for several months after signing contracts last year.
It is understood that the store has signed a 10-year lease at around €750,000 a year. After signing the lease last year, this would hopefully see the store remain a permanent fixture of Dublin city shopping until at least 2021. News of the store's arrival in the Irish market was first mooted in 2008 with the store showing serious interest early last year. But despite signing contracts last January, the grand opening was delayed. The famous fashion brand completed legal contracts as far back as last January and took possession of the building soon after. But it did not begin to fit out the 2,508sqm store until late summer.
Some sources suggested that the chain was holding back to see how its cheaper brand Hollister performed after opening in Dundrum Town Centre in July last. However, the Americans will have been encouraged that Hollister has proved a runaway success since it opened.
It is likely that the store will be opening during the Christmas 2012 Abercrombie & Fitch season, which launches in late October. It's understood between 200 and 300 full-time and part-time jobs would be created by the opening of a Dublin outlet.