Do we need all these shopping centres?

So Newbridge has one (with units to let I might add) and Naas is building one. Maynooth has one and there are elaborate plans for one in Celbridge. Kildare town has plans for one. I’ve just seen advertising for a new shopping centre in Saggart. That is Saggart, 2 miles from Citywest where there is also a shopping centre. Which in turn is only about 5 miles from The Square and just over the road from Liffey Valley.

Who do they think is going to shop in them? Liffey Valley is empty during the week. I know I used to work near there and pop over for lunch. Same with Dundrum. Newbridge is a graveyard with plans for more empty shops. What is going to go into Naas, Celbridge or Kildare let alone Saggart?

And that is before we mention the Retail warehouse strips things allover the place also

Its a good question alright. I think it made sense to build shopping centers everywhere in the heady days of the Celtic tiger as quiet week days were more than made up for by credit card fueled binges on the weekend.

Now that people are getting a lot more warey of the economy and are feeling more strapped for cash as their houses are worth less I think shopping will become less of a hobby and more of a “necessities only” affair. This is bad news for all these new shopping centers and as soon as they start having significant numbers of empty units they are going to turn into ghosttowns that people avoid as much as possible. Shopping centers with a lot of empty units are as creepy as hell.

We’ll need somewhere to put all the pound shops, second-hand clothes sales and general holiday crapola shops. Sadly these places don’t tend to pay much in rent!

On the hobby subject - I was in Whitewater (Newbridge) 2 Sundays ago to get the wains measured for shoes. We arrived at 3pm, a time I would have thought was as prime time as you’ll get in the retail game and the place was empty. In the shoe shop we had to tap the girl on the shoulder to drag her away from the hovering she was doing to get assistance. My wife was ushered from another shop at 5.45 as the “till was closed”. I wonder what they’ll be like next year?

Whitewater has been told that they can’t let any more units until they sort out the cinema/night time usage. That’s why some of them are still boarded up. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the one in Naas opens.

And Citywest is also only partly let!! All of the office areas appear to be empty too.

I can see a big shake-up coming with the newer shopping centres I had the misfortune to be in the new Athlone shopping centre whilst hungry a few months back. 9 bleedin’ euro for a miserable baked potato with cheese. Food inflation or what?

Plans are a bit less advanced, but aren’t there big shopping centres on the way for Cherrywood, Bray and Greystones? All within a few minutes of each other on the N11 and a short drive from Cornelscourt and Dundrum.

I think the developers of Greystones and Bray are objecting to each other’s planning applications. I doubt all three of them can be successful given the planned scale of each one.

There’s also a fair bit of vacant commercial space around Dublin city centre, particularly the ground floor units of the mixed use developments favoured by the planners. Developers probably weren’t too bothered by this when the apartments were flying off the plans, but I’d say they’re under more pressure to get returns on retail space these days.

I don’t see any movement in the Railway Square shopping center in Waterford. I’ve been to the cinema there once and even then I nipped accross the road to Tesco for snacks etc.

Apart from the cinema I’ve never even been inside the shopping center, I don’t even know if you can get in there. Have any units been let?


Yeah well , like most male of the species I hate shopping and try an do as much as possible on the Net. I’m really fed up with being ripped off by retailers. Considering the strenght of the € against the $ and £ this should be more than enough to negate inflation. but we still end up eating 5% inflation.

After living in Newbridge for 10 months I found the anchor shops there stock alot of the cast offs from their “A” stores in Dublin.

As long as there are people there’ll be an implied need for these shopping centres and primarily they provide a place for people to go and wander around in a zombie Romaro-esk kind of way :unamused:

Shopping centres are an integral part of Bertie’s Celtic Tiger Ireland. They, along with apartment developments, are part of what we have been told is the epitome of 21st Century advancement. Their proliferation is what somebody with the the prfound lack of vision and insight considers progress.

Hence, our country is visually polluted with horrid apartment/duplex developements and shopping centres all over the the goddam place - every town, at every motorway junction, in every city suburb. They blight our landscape and provide precious little economic benefit aside from the meagre wages those working there pull in.

Meanwhile, small retailers go out of business and local communities are further pulled apart as their once bussling town centres are left increasingly deserted.

This is what has been sold to us as our boom economy. It is nothing more than shabby short-termism. It is disgusting.

I haven’t lived in Dublin, but since I migrated to Ireland I have always felt that there are too few shopping centers. Usually ones that are build are very small and located in city centers. I hardly see that issue. It seems to me, that poor retail service in this country, combined with greed of little shop owners drives prices way above EU levels. I don’t think that is good, where small number of people benefits from ripping of poorer majority.

Wow. First time I’ve seen someone suggest Ireland has too FEW shopping centres!

I agree

before liffey valley going into the city to do anything from the westside was a royal pain in the butt
now there is blanch liffey valley and the square all within reach

the more the better, although the benefits you reckon you would get from a scenario like that would be competing prices but the fact that most are chain stores with mostly fixed pricing nationwide kinda sucks

oh and I would also like to throw in a hurrah for internet shoppin!!

how did we get by without it :open_mouth:

I really don’t know, bought something online last week for $14, costs 66 euro in argos :open_mouth:

amazing the way the price of imported goods don’t seem to be going down despite the strength of the euro…

Sheer begrudgery! :laughing:

Yep. There was a previous discussion of them,which a search isn’t finding. If I recall correctly, a Brayite/Greystonian on the average industrial wage will have to work for 2-3 years to earn the pretax income to finance the construction costs of these centres. That’s 2-3 years of pre-tax income, before the hypothetical retailers buy any stock or employ a shop assistant …this is just to finance the construction costs.

I live in Greystones, and I have better things to do in 2009-2012.

Alanp, here are the links to threads you’re talking about:

Edit: for a really detailed search, go into google and search for:


My memory wasn’t far off,€63,000 per resident to finance the construction costs. And the residents of course include e.g. my 8 year old madam, who would happily spend that much but unfortunately isn’t actually earning any money yet.

After tax, and counting non-earning dependents, the average earner/resident would probably be looking at half a decade of work to pay for these things to be built. Unfortunately for the developers, I’ll probably still buy suits in the city centre,trousers in Bray, and washing machines in the Power City off the Southern Cross in Bray, because I’ve been doing those things for a long time, and I have relationships with people in those shops.

So, in answer to the OP, no, we don’t need all these shopping centres, and some of them will be closed down and demolished within a decade.


I don’t think we need all those shopping centres. I’m of the opinion, however, that we need to do a better job of developing town centres/suburban main street type things and we need to do it without shafting the people who have businesses in these places.

I happened to drive down Wexford/Camden/Aungier Street yesterday. The place looks like an absolute kip to be honest, but it probably has the greatest concentration of non-chain stores in the city and it’s fascinating to look at. But the place is still largely a kip and it badly needs to be renovated.

Traditionally (say in the last five years) the only way you’d get that done in this country is for a developer to come in and buy it out and bulldoze it and turn it into just another UK high street which in my opinion would be pointless. I suspect a decent and well run urban renewal scheme administered and financed by the council would be better but I am unsure that we have the wherewithal not to waste money in this country because the buck seems to stop nowhere in public life and because of the tribunals there is still no accountability.

That’s one thing. Regarding the shopping centres: 1) there are too many of them and 2) the costs involved him them discourage independent retailers from what I can see. I don’t know what the rental in any of the Dublin-ring shopping centres you mention are but I was given a figure for 2000E a month for a very small town centre in a small town down the country a few months ago.

Very often people go on about regulation being a huge burden on business in Ireland, followed by public liability insurance. I’m of the opinion that they are easy targets - but both are there to protect the public. The key cost that worries me is rental and that benefits unnamed well off private individuals.

I am not sure that I appreciate the untrammelled growth of shopping centres in Ireland. TBH, they are all much of a muchness, there is no great variation in shops and they tend to generate traffic mayhem at certain times of the week. But since we have them, maybe hiring them out as art spaces might alleviate some of the pain.

It’s not going to happen though.