Homesense: major expansion

Discount designer furniture chain Homesense, which is owned by TK Maxx, is looking to open in Ireland.

"We are looking at a variety of possibilities at the moment," said Declan Stone, managing director of Colliers Jackson Stops, which advises TK Maxx on stores. Homesense is planning to open between 100 and 150 shops in total, split between Ireland and Britain.

Each shop stocks an average of 33,000 items ranging from cookware to rugs to furniture and prices are up to 60% below the recommended retail price.

Stone said TK Maxx itself would also continue to expand in Ireland with shops in Galway and Portlaoise due to open later this year. The discount fashion retailer is also looking for a second shop in Dublin city centre. It has opened 12 shops in the past four years as well as doubling the size of its space at Blanchardstown shopping centre. The retailer has just over 220 TK Maxx shops in Ireland and the UK and plans to increase that to 275. It is also expanding rapidly in Germany and plans a major expansion into Poland shortly.

"We have found in previous recessions that customers who discover us stick with us when things improve because of the value," company president and chief executive Carol Meyrowitz told analysts recently.