The first designer retail outlet in Ireland opens in County Laois promising designer clothes at reduced prices.

The retail centre, based on similar American outlets, is in Rathdowney chosen for its central location for all of Ireland's bargain hunters.

It's an American idea. A shopping mall full of designer clothes at discount prices.

Manufacturers offload last season's stock providing top brands at bargain prices to shoppers.

On opening day, only a handful of the forty units are occupied with more shops due to open in December.

The £42 million investment is providing 350 much need jobs in a rural area. Catriona Hayes, manager of 'Joseph' displays one of the "bargains" on offer, a coat reduced from £3,785 to £600.

Brendan O'Riley of Morrison believes that the location is perfect to service shoppers from throughout Ireland.

Will Rathdowney become the new shopping Mecca of Ireland or just another white elephant?

The success of Brand Central will be up to the discerning bargain hunters to decide.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 November 2001. The reporter is Bethan Kilfoil.