Paul Sheeran Jewelers has reached an agreement with investment group Hines to lease the entire ground floor of a new Chatham & King development on Grafton Street, where it plans to sell watches from some of the biggest luxury watch brands, including Cartier. , Breitling, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai.
This will see an investment of €4 million by Sheeran and the watchmakers for units covering more than 7,000 square feet under 10-year leases.
He hopes to open the doors to the new shopping strip on Chatham Street in November, in time for the busy Christmas shopping period, when his company would normally make around a third of its annual revenue.
Sheeran founded his business 30 years ago and sells diamonds and watches at a nearby store in Westbury Mall, where his workshop is also located.
It intends to keep those premises, but focus there on diamonds, with only a limited range of watches available. He expects the number of employees in the group to double to around 40.
There will be six individual “boutiques”, which Sheeran says are the leading watch brands in Ireland. Cartier, Breitling, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai and TAG Heuer will have their own stores.
Four of the brands – Breitling, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai – will be exclusive to Sheeran in Ireland, while Cartier, Hublot and Panerai are new brands for the retailer.
Sheeran told The Irish Times the new development would make it “more of a destination” for people who want to buy a quality watch here.
“It’s the way our industry works now around the world and for the end user it will be a better environment to buy.”
He expects most of the watches sold to be in the €1,000-€10,000 range, but some pieces could reach €100,000.
Sheeran remains optimistic about the future of brick-and-mortar stores despite the shift to e-commerce, which has accelerated during the pandemic.
“When you spend a few thousand on a watch, you want to feel it, you want to try it on. You don’t just want to push a button and open a box. There are so many questions you will have about how to wind it or adjust the closure.”
Brian Moran, senior managing director of Hines Ireland, said the lease was a “perfect match” for the development.
“It is one of the most exciting commercial developments to occur in the city center for many years, and also represents a new chapter for Chatham Street, which is currently undergoing a significant transformation. It reflects the underlying strength of retail and is evidence of strong future growth in this area.”
Chatham & King’s portfolio comprises more than 106,000 square feet of premier retail and office space, as well as six residential units. It is owned and managed by the Hines European Core Fund (HECF).
The tenants include global data analytics management firm Qualtrics and retailers Zara and H&M.