Irish retailer Penneys 50th anniversary

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Penneys marks 50 years in business.

The company opened its first store on Mary Street in Dublin back in 1969.

Today the firm has 372 stores in 12 countries, more than 75,000 employees and over 15 million sq. feet of retail space.

Penneys, which operates as Primark outside of Ireland, opened its first UK shop in 1973.

It then began expanding into Europe in 2006 – opening in Spain, followed by the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Austria, France, the US and Italy.

Last month saw the business open a store in Slovenia, marking its entry into Central Eastern Europe.

It also has plans to open more new outlets in Poland and the Czech Republic in the future.

Earlier this year, the company opened its largest store in Birmingham – spanning five floors and covering 160,000 sq. feet of retail space.

It features Primark’s biggest beauty studio to date, a barbers and three restaurants.

Speaking about the 50-year milestone, Primark CEO Paul Marchant says: “The doors to the very first Penneys opened on Mary Street 50 years ago today, and I am so proud of everything we have achieved together in that time – starting from humble beginnings with just one store to now serving over one million customers a day.

“Today we celebrate our visionary chairman and founder, Mr Arthur Ryan, and the passion and commitment of our people, who are the heart of our business.

“I want to personally thank all our colleagues, both past and present, for their significant contribution and outstanding dedication.

“I would also like to thank our customers for their loyalty over the past five decades. We look forward to providing them with an exceptional shopping experience into the future.”

The company says its flagship Mary Street store, where its international headquarters is located “remains an important landmark”.

It marked the occasion earlier at Mary Street with a live DJ, giveaways and treat stations.

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