Decathlon ready for Irish launch
Decathlon has unveiled plans to launch its first stores in Ireland as well as a range of own-brand products for Gaelic sports.
The French company is currently negotiating a deal to open a large store on the outskirts of Dublin, which could open as early as 2019, according to reports.
It would be the first physical location in Ireland for the sports retailer, following the launch of a dedicated Irish e-commerce site last October. The brand aims to ship 100,000 items to 50,000 Irish consumers this year.
Nine further stores are planned to open in Dublin, Cork and Galway in the coming years, creating more than 500 staff, reports the Irish Times.
“We will take the time to find the perfect place to fit our concept,” said Decathlon Ireland CEO Bastie Grandgeorge to the Irish newspaper. The company is struggling to find large format space for its multi-brand offering, he added.
“It’s hard to find commercial places, but we’re not in a rush, and if we have to open in 2021 it’s not a problem. We’re here to stay for the long term.”
The brand sells more than 62 sports-specific brands online, including Kipsta, Tribord, Artengo and Quechua. In Ireland, the range will be further boosted with a collection of own-brand products for Gaelic sports, expected to launch in the medium term.
Grandgeorge warned that prices in Ireland could be a little steeper than in France due to higher VAT rates, but the retailer will remain committed to offering prices at 20% less than rivals. “There is no reason to take 50-60 per cent margin just because we are on an island,” he said.
Meanwhile, the range of children’s products will benefit from Ireland’s zero VAT on children’s clothing, and become the company’s cheapest across Europe.
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