Debenhams Ireland

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Debenhams Ireland
Traded as Subsidiary of Debenhams
Predecessor Roches Stores (1901–2006)
Founded 1901 (as Roches Stores)
2007 (as Debenhams Ireland)
Headquarters 54-62 Henry Street, Dublin 1, Republic of Ireland
Products Fashion clothing, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, home and furniture, electricals, gifts, toys
Revenue 181 million (2016)[1]
-55.5 million (2016)[1]
-5.8 million (2016)[1]
Number of employees
1,508 (2016)[1]
Parent Debenhams

Debenhams Ireland is a national chain of department stores in Ireland, that is owned by Debenhams plc.


Roches Stores (1901 – 2006)

Founded in Cork in 1901 by William Roche, as a small furniture shop, the chain grew to eleven stores throughout Ireland. In October 2007, Roches Stores ceased operating. Today,[when?] the Roche family leases the buildings which formerly housed Roches Stores to Debenhams Ireland. Debenhams mainly supports and sells a wide range of British goods, from cosmetics to houseware to clothes and stationery.

Roches Stores caused huge controversy[citation needed] in the 1970s and early 1980s when it demolished Frescati House in Blackrock, the home of Lord Edward FitzGerald. This is to this day still recognised as a major cultural loss to the Blackrock area[citation needed] and with the development of newer shopping centres in Dublin, the justification for a centre at Frescati has diminished with the memories of the chain. Within sight of such an action, the property was demolished after hours to prevent protesters from mounting a demonstration.

Most of the larger Roches Stores locations had a supermarket on-site. In 1998 these stores became franchises of SuperValu, branded as "SuperValu at Roches Stores". However between 2004 and 2006, the supermarkets were closed down, with the exception of the store at Patrick Street in Cork, which continues to trade as a SuperValu.

Debenhams (1996-2007)

The UK operations of Debenhams entered Ireland as an opening anchor of the Jervis Shopping Centre in 1996,[2] with a second store an opening anchor at Mahon Point Shopping Centre in 2005.[3]

Debenhams Ireland (2007 – present)

Debenhams in Cork, with Roches Stores name still visible

Roches Stores also had an aborted attempt in the Northern Ireland market with a store in Newry. This was closed in 2002 and announced that it would be redeveloped into a Debenhams store. It was not an acquisition, as the staff from Roches were made redundant and then were welcome to reapply to Debenhams when it opened two years later, although many by this time had found new jobs. This was the first contact between Debenhams and Roches and in July 2006, Irish newspapers[which?] reported that Roches Stores was in discussion with the British department store chain Debenhams, with regard to a possible sale of the business.[citation needed]

On 8 August 2006, it was announced that Debenhams would buy the leaseholds of nine of the 11 Roches Stores for €29 million.[4] Under the deal, the stores, including those in St. Patrick's Street in Cork and Henry Street in Dublin would be rebranded as Debenhams stores. The Roche family retained the ownership of the stores, and Debenhams became the new tenants. Marks & Spencer had agreed to acquire the company's Wilton outlet in Cork, however that deal later fell through due to a dispute over rent with the owners of the centre.[5] As a result, both the Wilton store as well as the Nutgrove store (in Dublin) closed,[citation needed] along with Roches Stores' head office.[citation needed]

Roches Stores advertised their sale in October 2006 as a "closing down sale" as part of the transition towards the Debenhams brand. Sections of stores were replaced with Debenhams stock, fittings, signage and designers such as John Rocha and Jasper Conran. The Limerick store was the first to be rebranded,[citation needed] followed by Blanchardstown and Tallaght.[citation needed]

The St. Patrick's Street store in Cork was rebranded as Debenhams on 30 January 2007, but the Roches Stores name remains visible as it is sculpted on the wall over the large arch window over the front entrance to the store, which was the original Roches Stores branch.[citation needed] Many customers still refer to the store as Roches Stores rather than Debenhams.[citation needed] However, it was a different story in Limerick where a mosaic on the ground outside the main door was removed.[citation needed] In March 2007, Debenhams reported that all but two of the stores had been rebranded, and launched a major marketing campaign under the Debenhams name.

The original Irish branch in the Jervis Centre closed in 2009 due to the proximity to the former Roches Stores branch on Henry Street, Dublin

Due to poor sales Debenhams Retail (Ireland) announced in January 2010 that it would slash 170 jobs within its Republic of Ireland stores.[6]

In November 2010 Debenhams launched, the retailer's new Irish online store.

On 12 May 2016 Debenhams Ireland filed for examinership (analogous to the US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection process), which it exited successfully on 19 August 2016.[7]

On 9 April 2019, the parent company based in the UK announced that they had gone into pre-pack administration.[8]

On 26 April 2019, the company announced that in addition to rent reductions on all except 39 stores, 22 stores would close after Christmas 2019 across the UK and the possible sell-off of the Danish subsidiary Magasin du Nord.[9] However, Debenhams Ireland confirmed to customers it was under a 'new management structure'[10] and the company Debenhams Ireland Ltd (including Northern Ireland stores) would not be affected by the administration process taking place in the UK.[11]

The only Irish locations of Patisserie Valerie were concessions located in Debenhams branches, and closed when the parent chain entered administration[12]

Store locations


  1. ^ a b c d "Finances". The Irish Times/Debenhams Ireland. 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Debenhams beefs up Irish presence". BBC News. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Fears for jobs at Roches Stores in Cork". RTÉ News. 26 January 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  6. ^ 320 jobs to go as staff at retailer and airline face axe
  7. ^
  8. ^ Butler, Sarah (9 April 2019). "Debenhams is taken over by lenders as Mike Ashley loses £150m stake". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Debenhams names 22 stores to close". BBC. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Debenhams plc
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