Retailer Penneys is marking 50 years of business today. 

Founded by Arthur Ryan, Penneys opened its first store on Mary Street in Dublin in 1969.

Penneys, which operates as Primark outside of Ireland, now has 372 stores in 12 countries, more than 75,000 employees and over 15 million sq. feet of retail space.

Primark opened its first UK store in 1973 and began expanding into Europe in 2006.

It first opened shops in Spain, followed by the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Austria, France, the US and Italy. 

Last month saw the business open a store in Slovenia, marking its entry into Central Eastern Europe, with plans to open more new stores in Poland and the Czech Republic in the future.

The Mary Street store remains an important landmark with the company's international headquarters located above the store. 

In its last financial year (FY17/18), the company opened 16 stores creating over 4,500 new jobs. It said it received over 43,000 job applications for these stores.