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American Apparel to open in Ireland

US young fashion chain American Apparel will open its first store in the Republic of Ireland by the end of the year.

The chain, which has 13 stores in the UK, is finalising a deal to open a store in Dublin’s Grafton Street.

UK and RoI general manager Brent Chase confirmed the location, adding there were other potential locations in Ireland for the business. He said: “We will see how the store goes in Dublin and then we’ll look at other locations in Ireland like Cork and Shannon as possible locations for further stores.”

Chase added that the business, which sells women’s and men’s casual fashion via its stores and online, was looking for locations for three to five more UK shops this year.

He said: “Last month we were up around 20% like-for-like. Our customer base is growing and our product is very original.”

Mark Smith, director at real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which is scouting for locations for American Apparel, said: “The obvious targets are Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Newcastle upon Tyne, and units of at least 2,500sq ft.”

The retailer has expanded its categories from T-shirts, jersey dresses and tops to include pea coats and other winter outerwear in store, after its launch of Oxford shirts last summer.

American Apparel’s UK turnover for 2008 was £18.2 million, up from £7.6m the year before.

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