Irish eyes on UK market

Irish retail giant Smyths is currently planning an assault on the UK market and hopes to have a number of stores up and running before the end of the year.
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The 24-strong chain is currently eyeing sites around the country hoping to create a store base built from a mixture of city-centre and out of town stores.

The firm is seeking to open about 10 superstores in the South East of England in the coming months and has already begun to advertise key staff positions.

It will open its first store at Chadwell Heath in Romford in July, with others planned for Manchester and the greater London area. Capital Retail in Nottingham is advising the business on its roll out and search for sites.

The arrival of the Irish chain with its fresh approach to store design is certain to shake up the UK toy retail market if it manages to gain a foothold and will offer real competition for some of the existing toy specialists such as Toys R Us and The Entertainer.

The stores also stock a large range of nursery and software products and have expert staff in each of the seperate sections within the store.

The toy shop chain, run by the four Smyth brothers, has been one of the most successful Irish retail stories of recent years. The Galway-based firm was established in 1986 and now has 19 shops in Ireland plus a further five outlets in the North.

Last year, the company reported sales of €186m, generating operating profits of almost €6m, from revenues of just €20m 10 years ago.

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