Dunnes Stores

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Dunnes Stores
Industry Retail (various)
Founded 1944 in Cork City
Founder Ben Dunne
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Key people
Frank Dunne
(Managing Director)
Products Groceries and textiles
Number of employees
Slogan The difference is.....we're Irish

Dunnes Stores, also known as Dunnes, is a retail chain that is based in Dublin, Ireland. The chain primarily sells food, clothes and household wares.

In addition to its main customer base in both parts of Ireland, the chain has operations in England, Scotland and Spain.[1] The format of the chain's stores include a grocery supermarket operating alongside a clothing/textiles store. The grocery operation only operates in Irish stores and some Northern Irish stores, although some limited grocery ranges can be found in the Spanish stores. However some stores contain only textiles, while some (more rarely) contain only a supermarket. Many products are sold under the St. Bernard brand which was created in 1956 later being rebranded as "My Family Favourites" in 2013.


Dunnes HQ
Dunnes Stores in Ashbourne, County Meath
24 hour Dunnes Stores in Childers Road Retail Park, Limerick
A UK branch of Dunnes in the Kirkstall area of Leeds, West Yorkshire.

International expansion[edit]

The first venture outside Ireland was in Spain on the Costa del Sol in 1980 and there are now five stores in the South of Spain.

The company also opened superstores in Great Britain during the 1980s, the first of which opened in 1986 in Billingham on Leeholme Road and sold both groceries and non-food until 1996 when the store closed its grocery department. Tesco took over the store in 2002.[2] Other British grocery and clothes stores included Barnsley and Sheffield Haymarket (former Woolco store, today Wilkinson).[3]

The year 2000 marked the expansion of Dunnes non-food business in Great Britain with the opening of the first department store in Scotland and expansion to other locations thereafter.[citation needed]


On 12 July 2007, the company opened a new flagship textiles-only store in Henry Street, Dublin. This store is branded simply as Dunnes on external signage rather than "Dunnes Stores", as is the company's store at Citywest, opened in September 2007. On 24 October 2007 Michael Heffernan confirmed that the company would be rebranding as simply "Dunnes".[4]

As of 2011, many stores still have the old Dunnes Stores brand, and so does advertising.

New headquarters[edit]

In 2007, architect Arthur Gibney & Partners designed a large commercial development which entailed the removal of some buildings and facade retention of several others, including the former Dunlop Factory on Stephen Street, and the Connolly Shoes building. The building has a dramatic corner atrium leading to an internal street through the development. The facade to George’s Street respects existing building heights.


The company is privately owned.


Dunnes' main domestic competitors in the supermarket business are Tesco Ireland, SuperValu and most recently Lidl and Aldi. In clothing, their rivals include Penneys, Marks and Spencer, Arnotts, and Debenhams Ireland. Dunnes concentrate more on clothes retail in the United Kingdom, meaning they do not generally compete directly with British supermarkets.


Apartheid boycott[edit]

In 1984, Mary Manning, a shop worker in the Henry Street, Dublin outlet, made international headlines when she led a picket for almost 3 years against the sale by Dunnes of oranges sourced in the then apartheid South Africa.[5][6]


Christy Moore wrote a song about the issue. The Irish Government eventually banned all imports from South Africa until the end of apartheid.[5][6] The workers eventually met Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his conferral of the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 1990.[5] A plaque, presented by South African President Thabo Mbeki, commemorating the action was unveiled in Dublin in June, 2008, and a street has been named after Mary in Johannesburg.[6][5] Ms. Manning was invited to attend the Funeral of Nelson Mandela in 2013.[5]

Other Controversies[edit]

In September 2011, The Irish Independent found that Dunnes Stores is selling bra-and-knicker sets for three- to six-year-old girls. Dunnes also has padded bras for girls with a 28 to 30-inch chest, which are the dimensions of nine-year-old girls.[7]

An attempted boycott was made on Dunnes due to reports of selling goods made in Burma.[8]

On 2nd April 2015, members of the Mandate Trade Union staged a one-day dispute at 109 branches of Dunnes Stores. The dispute concerned low-hour contracts (typically 15 hours per week), income and employment security, and the continued failure of Dunnes Stores to recognise or engage with the Mandate Trade Union, contrary to the recommendations of the impartial Labour Court.[2]


  1. ^ "Our Stores". Dunnes Stores. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Northern Echo Article on Dunnes Billingham Store
  3. ^ R. W. G. Carter, Anthony John Parker. "Ireland: A Contemporary Geographical Perspective" p251 Routledge, 1989. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  4. ^ The Irish Times 25 October 2007
  5. ^ a b c d e "Dunnes Stores strikers to attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral". TheJournal.ie. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "Honour at Last for the Strikers Who Fought Apartheid; (1) Then: Mary Manning, Circled, with Dunnes Co-Workers in 1985 (2) Now: Micheal Martin, Kader Asmal and Mary Inspect the Plaque". Daily Mail. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2015 – via Questia. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ Sheehan, Aideen. "Retailers selling bras for girls as young as three [1]" The Irish Independent. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  8. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/1997/0802/97080200006.html

External links[edit]