Sports re­tailer De­cathlon to have the run of Bal­ly­mun af­ter €4.35m mega­s­tore deal ap­proved

The Irish Times - - Home News - OLIVIA KELLY Dublin Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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