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Australian stationery chain Smiggle have announced plans to open up to 20 new stores in Ireland over the next three years.

The first store will open next month in the Dundrum Shopping Centre with a second store is scheduled to open this summer. The chain is in advanced discussions to open a further two or three new stores before Christmas.

It is estimated that the stationery market here is worth as much as €338m a year. Premier, the group,who own Smiggle along with a number of other retail brands, said that the Irish market is already the number one market outside the UK for online Smiggle orders.

Smiggle currently operates 90 stores in the UK since expanding its operations there in 2014.

Premier opened 26 Smiggle stores in the UK in the first half of its financial year, which ended in January, and expects annual sales there to hit A$200m (€142.7m) by 2019.

It will open a total of between 30 and 40 more new stores in the UK this year.

Founded in 2003 in Melbourne, Austrailia, Smiggle currently has stores located across Australia (135), New Zealand (23), Singapore (17), United Kingdom (90), Hong Kong (5) and Malaysia (1). The brand is renowned for its use of vibrant bold colours and quirky graphics on most of its branded products.

According to RTE, Simon Betty, Director of retail in Ireland with Hammerson (joint owner of Dundrum Shopping Centre) said it was a “fantastic result” to secure Smiggle at Dundrum for its country debut.

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