The company often uses employees as its models in advertising

AMERICAN Apparel, the popular US fashion retailer, is to open in Ireland after agreeing to lease a building at Grafton Street in Dublin.

Retail experts contacted by the Sunday Tribune welcomed its entry into Ireland, describing it as a major boon for the country's premier retail street.

American Apparel's website states it is to open soon at 114 Grafton Street, close to the main entrance to Trinity College, which has 16,000 students providing a ready market.

"I can confirm that a letting has been agreed and that a new entrant to the Irish market will open there before Christmas," said HWBC director Mervyn Ellis, who is letting the building on behalf of landlord Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM). He said he could not comment further. Ellis had been quoting a rent of €1m a year for the building after ILIM invested €4m to make the building more accessible.

American Apparel produces its clothes in the US, as opposed to sweatshops in Asia. It has over 180 shops and will soon have a presence in 21 countries. It pays its workers almost double the minimum wage and offers subsidised healthcare and other benefits.