05/12/2002

Debenhams' proposed Newry branch will create 230 jobs

Debenhams has announced that it is to open a store in Newry which see the creation of up to 230 jobs in the city.

The high street retailer will open its third Northern Irish branch in the Quays Shopping and Leisure Centre, on the site which Republic-based chain Roches Stores which will vacate the site early next year.

While the February closure of Roches will mean the loss of 90 jobs, the 60,000 sq ft two-storey unit will redress the balance and provide a significant boost for the local economy. The £25 million development is currently at the planning stage and is expected to open in October 2004.

Gerard O'Hare of Parker Green, who are developing the site, said: "We are delighted to announce an investment proposal of this calibre that will further enhance the shopping in Newry town centre.

"This is a major coup for Newry and is further evidence that Newry's reputation as a progressive city and a great place to do business is an attraction to major investors.

"We believe that a premium retailer such as Debenhams will serve to attract further inward investment, development and job creation".

Belinda Earl, chief executive of Debenhams, said: "We are very pleased to be involved in such an exciting development at the Quays and look forward to bringing the Debenhams brand to the city of Newry."

(GMcG)

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