Sports retailer Decathlon to have the run of Ballymun after €4.35m megastore deal approved
One of Europe’s largest sports retailers Decathlon is to open its first “megastore” in the State following the approval by Dublin city councillors of the sale of a site beside Ikea in Ballymun.
The French sports retailer is to pay the council ¤4.35 million for the site at New St Margaret’s Road, which is on land owned by the city council, but located in the neighbouring local authority of Fingal. The land is zoned for large-scale “retail warehousing” under Fingal’s development plan.
Decathlon already operates an outlet in Belfast, but the Ballymun store will be its first south of the Border.
The company is planning to expand throughout Ireland with nine branches, including stores in Cork and Galway.
Founded in 1976 in Lille, and currently operating in 46 countries, Decathlon opened its first UK outlet in the late 1990s and did consider a move to Ireland in 2008, but held off when the financial crisis hit.
It recently set up an Irish office in Sandyford in south Dublin, ahead of the deal with the council.
Dubbed the “Ikea of sports retailing”, Decathlon last October started delivering directly to Ireland, and it aims to ship 100,000 items here this year to 50,000 customers.
The 2,000sq m-5,000sq m store will be on lands currently laid out as a car park opposite Ikea. While the sale has been
approved by the council, Decathlon will still need to seek planning permission from Fingal before starting work, and could face an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.
However, it has said it hopes to be up and running by the end of next year. It will then look to open in Galway and Cork. A further two stores may then follow in Dublin, as well as another three around the country.
Decathlon differs from other sports retailers in the market by offering low-cost own-brand products, from clothing to bicycles, for adults and children.
Several of its brands, including Btwin, Quechua, Kipsta, Tribord and Artengo, would already be familiar to Irish sports enthusiasts.
Decathlon designs and manufactures the products itself which, the company says, allows it to pass all the savings on to the consumer.