Well-known sports chain to open branch in Limerick

WELL-KNOWN sports retailer Decathlon will open its first Irish store outside Dublin at Limerick’s Parkway Retail Park.

In a move that will create 60 new jobs, the business will open its doors in the spring of next year on Dublin Road Park, after signing a 25-year lease with Sigma Retail Partners.

Decathlon will replace Homebase in the retail park, the DIY store will close with the loss of 30 jobs.

However, it is understood that these personnel will be offered opportunities within Decathlon if they so choose.

The Limerick store will have 5,000 square meters of retail space, as well as 1,500 square meters of retail space.

These will include a soccer field, a basketball court, an indoor gym, a cycle track and a climbing wall, for free use by Decathlon members.

“The store will be located in a strategic commercial area within easy reach of Limerick city centre, the University of Limerick and the wider residential area,” said Bastien Grandgeorge, CEO of Decathlon in Ireland.

Recruitment for the new POS will begin in January with roles split between store management, operations and e-commerce, which are expected to account for 35% of sales.

The family-owned business promises that because of the importance of online sales, the store will be set up so that best-selling products are delivered within 48 hours and available for click-and-collect within an hour.

Locals will also have the opportunity to name the store and review the products it offers.

The company has said it continues to search for suitable retail space that will allow it to expand to other Irish cities, including Cork, Galway Waterford and other locations in Dublin.

The retailer has enjoyed significant success since opening its first Irish physical operation in Dublin with the Ballymun store.

The Limerick Leader has contacted Homebase for comment.

Last September, staff became concerned after a planning notice was posted in the store, without management’s knowledge.

The planning request sought a change of use of the store-store premises to one that would allow the sale of sports and leisure items.

A third party was confirmed to have approached Sigma Properties, now revealed to be Decathlon.

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