Apple, maker of the iPhone and the Mac computer, is looking to open a shop in Dublin and has hired property advisers Jones Lang LaSalle to find a suitable premises.
The shop will be run by Apple's UK licensee and is likely to be about 6,000 square feet over two levels. The retailer, which is expected to launch a new iPhone and cut its prices tomorrow, is understood to have looked at the former Habitat shop at Suffolk Street and the former Dunnes Stores at Grafton Street in recent months.
Apple is one of several retailers looking to take advantage of falling rents by moving into Ireland. Abercrombie & Fitch's Hollister brand, which is popular with students, has held talks about opening here over the past 18 months and is understood to be close to signing a lease in Belfast. Sources said Abercrombie & Fitch itself is unlikely to open in Dublin at present, largely because Grafton Street is run-down. The Sunday Tribune understands that Hollister has shown an interest in opening at Henry Street.
Austrian jewellery chain Frey Wille is also looking at locations in Dublin while sports retailer Puma, which recently signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union, has also been scouting potential locations. However, Puma announced last week that it was closing most of its British stores which may put a move here on the back burner.
The Sunday Tribune revealed last month that H&M's Cos and Spanish accessories chain Tous are looking to open in Dublin. American retailer Gap is also looking for additional shops in Dublin.