7 reasons Penneys on Patrick Street in Cork will be forever etched in my heart 2 years ago

7 reasons Penneys on Patrick Street in Cork will be forever etched in my heart

Penneys is 50 and despite what she may be feeling about herself at this delicate milestone, we reckon she's looking great.

The Irish institution this week marks half a century since first opening its doors on Dublin's Mary Street and it's safe to say that few in this country could imagine life without it.


While for many, that flagship Dublin outlet is the most iconic and probably the best to shop, lots of us from around the country will have far more of a grá for the regional Penneys stores.

They may not be as big or as fancy as any of Dublin's ones but they each have more charm in their changing rooms than you'll find in the entirety of Dundrum Town Centre.

Though I live in Dublin now, there are plenty of reasons I'll always hold dear the Penneys store on Patrick's Street in Cork.

It has a new layout every time I go home to Cork.


Like Hogwarts students using a certain staircase only to learn that it now takes them to a completely different place than it did before, I'm never certain of what I'm going to find where in the shop.

Somehow this adds to its charm.

It is universal in its appeal.

There are few places in Cork where people from across the social divide converge and as the only Penneys in the city, this is one of them.


It is a cultural crossroads; a unique point where you'll find nanas from the northside with ten shopping bags on each arm, 14-year-old uniformed St Al's schoolgirls and German tourists who have broken away from a walking tour of the English Market all flicking through the same rail of tops.

It's where I bought my first pot of Miss Sporty pressed powder.

Any Irish woman who came of age in the noughties will understand the significance of this purchase.


There's never not scaffolding outside.

The building looks like your friend who is always walking around the house in a dressing gown with one false eyelash on when you arrive at her gaff to get her before going out.

The sight fills you with the promise of what's to come, though deep down you know it'll be fucking ages before she's done.

The queue for the women's changing room.

A still wall of weary bodies that for some reason snakes right into the middle of the pulsingly busy shop floor.


It is maddening, but its stubbornness is just so Cork that you can't help but love it. There is something satisfying about knowing that you've slowed someone else down.

The alley next to Penneys between Patrick's Street and Plunkett Street.

Where goods are delivered, where teenagers meet on Wednesday afternoons to shift and where one can safely drink alcohol out of a McDonald's cup in relative peace.

There's always Wilton.

If you can't get what you're looking for in town, like.