By Clodagh Meaney
An Irish institution that is loved by almost everyone. I say almost because as sustainable fashion begins to take hold, it leaves Penneys out in the cold.
It doesn't seem to phase them though, as the retail giants are constantly expanding. They've recently opened their largest store to date in Birmingham, UK. Their fashion is always bang-on-trend, prices are always affordable, and their Instagram is never short of inspiration.
What is not to love? Ah the stores themselves! I love a good hour or two rummage through Penneys every so often (more often than not). But which stores will you get the most value for your time out of?
Here is my guide to the best and worst. I rated a number of Dublin stores on factors such as variety, size range and location. I am also happy to say that all of the below are wheelchair accessible.
Location: Located in the massive Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. There is free parking, and Dublin Bus brings you there too. It is also accessible via many Bus Eireann routes for us boggers.
Store: Two massive floors! The entire ground floor is Women's Fashion, Beauty & Shoes, whilst upstairs on a smaller floor you have Children's, Men's & Homewear. They also have a beauty bar, seating area, and sockets to charge your phone.
Size range: I always find they have a really good range of sizes and I can almost always manage to pick something up.
Variety: Very generous. I feel like Blanch is a very well-stocked store. They have everything you could ever want!
Overall score: 9/10
The only thing that lets Blanchardstown down is that it's hard to pop in for something quick. Blanch is a nightmare if you drive. It is fantastic for your Saturday morning deep rummage. You'll never leave empty-handed.
Location: Omni Park Shopping centre. This is an excellent location. Free parking and Dublin Bus brings you right to the door.
Store: One floor, smaller than a lot of stores.
Size Range: On my last visit there wasn't a size 16/L or above in sight. No dresses, no bottoms, and about 3 pairs of PJs. There are always plenty of 10/12/14 but above or below that and you're going to be struggling.
Variety: Grim. They throw a few of the best things at the door to entice you in, but it is relatively bland once you get inside. Lots of blouses, tracksuits and jeans.
Overall Score: 5/10
Only for how handy it is to pop in if you really need to grab something specific when any aul style will do. But I wouldn't go in for a browse.
Location: Located in Dundrum Town Centre, there is cheap parking. Both Dublin Bus and the Luas serve the area.
Store: This store has 1 floor, it is smaller than you'd expect for Dundrum. It can tend to get very loud & busy which sometimes leaves me a bit anxious & overwhelmed, which is a forewarning if you're also that way inclined.
Size range: Overall, it is good, again, sometimes you can't find anything above a 16, but it is a rare occurrence.
Variety: The variety is hit and miss. You'll go in one week and you'll see loads of great stuff, and then the next week it's shite.
Overall score: 8/10
It's grand like. You'd go in and get something decent.
Location: Excellent. Again if you drive, this isn't a great option, better than O'Connell Street mind. However, parking nearby can be expensive. If you're a commuter, this is a perfect city centre location.
Store: This store is bleedin' massive. It is Dublin's flagship store and also where Penney's Ireland head offices are. The store is spread across 3 floors. They have a beauty bar and a coffee stall also.
Size range: The most decent of them all. You'll always get your hands on your size here.
Variety: It's really really good. You can get practically everything you'd need here.
Overall score: 9.5/10
I've docked .5 for the parking situation, which is unavoidable because it's the city centre. But I hate public transport, so it is a factor that matters to me. If you're a commuter, it's a 10.
Location: Fantastic location in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. Free parking and it is served by many bus routes.
Store: Large, bright and across 3 floors. This is Ireland's newest store. There is also an Insomnia cafe.
Size range: It's got a very decent size range. You'll get your 4s and your 24s.
Variety: A really good variety of clothes. They sell out of the latest trends very fast, but if you're in before the rest then you're sure to get your hands on whatever your fave influencer is wearing this week.
Overall score: 8.5 / 10
I'd go in if I was in that area, but I wouldn't go out of my way now mind.
Location: I love Dun Laoghaire. It's one of my favourite places in Dublin, and there's Ice Cream around every corner. There's handy parking nearby this Penney's store and it is served by many bus routes.
Store: Small. One floor. It's dim & in dire need of some TLC. It's like stepping back to the 90s. My least favourite Penneys. The one I will walk by without going in for a look.
Size range: The only redeeming quality that their clothes have is that they're always available in a great range of sizes, and they always have every size. Now I don't know if this is because no one is buying clothes or...
Variety: Shite. If you're looking to get your nanny something to wear, or an outfit for a dodgy interview then in you go, but it's rather bland.
Overall score: 4/10
A generous score.
Location: If you drive, it's a no go really, and not worth the trip. If you're grand with the bus, then it is very handy as many buses serve O'Connell Street and the surrounding areas.
Size: Bigger than it looks. There are 3 floors. Downstairs you have Homewear and Kids, the ground floor is Women's Fashion & Beauty, while upstairs is home to Women's Shoes & Accessories, as well as Men's Fashions. There is also a brand new beauty bar for lashes, nails and eyebrows.
Size range: It does have a variety of sizes, but I do sometimes struggle to find anything beyond a 14.
Variety: The variety is decent, but for it's central location, on one of Dublin's busiest shopping streets, it's not great.
Overall score: 7/10
Do yourself a favour, save your time and just go to Mary Street.
Location: Pavillions Shopping Centre. Served by a number of bus routes & cheap parking.
Store: Bigger than it looks. One massive floor. Bright, clean & new. Size range: Does the job! You'll always find your size which is grand.
Variety: Another place where it can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to the range of clothes you can get.
Overall score: 7/10
If this store were on Netflix Show The Good Place, It'd be the only Penneys in The Medium Place.