As vacant units mount and online retail bites how can shopping centres survive?

Most Dublin shopping centres have bounced back impressively from the pandemic. But to withstand fierce competition from the giants of online retail, they must evolve – and do it quickly

St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin: many units remain empty, 18 months into the pandemic. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Walking from the bustle of Grafton Street in Dublin into the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre last week, the number of empty units was striking. Just past the entrance, the former Mothercare unit is still empty – more than a year after the Ward family, which owns the business, announced its Irish retail operation would be liquidated due to the collapse in sales following the pandemic.

Further into the centre, the Yankee candle store is announcing ...