UK pub chains 'likely to buy up Ireland's top retail properties'

UK pub chains 'likely to buy up Ireland's top retail properties'

UK PUB chains are likely to become a key player in the Irish retail property market as they continue to expand into Ireland, says property consultancy company Savills.

The property firm made the prediction as pub chain JD Wetherspoon acquired its second premises in Dublin and prepares to open its first pubs in Ireland this April.

The British pub chain claims that it could open between 30 and 50 additional pubs in Ireland over the next 10 years.

British brewer Greene King and another unnamed firm are also believed to be considering opportunities in Ireland.

Bernadine Hogan, retail divisional director at Savills Ireland said: “We’re now seeing increased demand from food and drink retailers for prime city-centre space, with requirements currently outstripping the available stock.

“We expect this to continue in 2014, as a number of UK pub chains further expand in Ireland.”

Savills said fashion and footwear retailers also remain “strong performers”, thereby increasing demand for space in prime locations.

The company suggests that a small amount of retail development will take place this year, after there was no real increase in building supply within the last five years.

Increased activity in Dublin shopping centres was recorded last year, and with vacancy rates falling in popular locations, the divide between cities and provincial towns is becoming increasingly identifiable.