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08th Jun 2022

‘High’ rents blamed for empty retail units on one of Dublin’s busiest shopping streets

Katy Thornton

A sad time for what used to be one of Dublin’s best shopping districts.

If you’ve taken a wander down Grafton Street lately, you have probably noticed the series of empty retail units. What was once one of Dublin’s best shopping districts has been decimated in the face of the pandemic, as well as high rent costs. Not to mention the hugely popular and efficient influence of online shopping. Even at Christmas time, I found very few shops where I could do any Christmas shopping, instead heading further north or out towards the suburbs.

It’s no surprise people are taking notice of this; Robert Burns (@robertburns73) took to Twitter to document the “14 vacant retail units” along Grafton Street. While he notices that two of these are set to reopen, that still leaves 12 empty spaces.

People replied to Burns’ tweet with their thoughts on the matter, citing that the street is too busy, high rent, online retail, as well as a lack of things to do in the city centre as the reasons behind the demise of Grafton Street. Economist David McWilliams (@davidmcw) summed it up perfectly, stating in his responding tweet: “V simple, rents far too high. Rents fall and vacancy ends.”

While there are some new shops incoming, such as the highly anticipated Lego store (where Topman used to be), it remains to be seen if the Grafton Street retail district will return to its former glory. With no end in sight to the high rents, the issue seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

Header image via Shutterstock 

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