Decathlon’s Ballymun shop one of best performers among group’s 1,750 outlets

Irish business pressing ahead with two more planned stores

From right, Bastien Grandgeorge, chief executive of Decathlon Ireland, and Kieran O’Shea, store leader, in the Ballymun Decathlon store. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

From right, Bastien Grandgeorge, chief executive of Decathlon Ireland, and Kieran O’Shea, store leader, in the Ballymun Decathlon store. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Decathlon’s store in Ballymun in Dublin is among the best performers in the French sportswear giant’s entire group of 1,750 outlets, according to the chief executive of the Irish business. The group, which has just one outlet in the Republic so far, is pressing ahead with opening two more stores.

Bastien Grandgeorge said the Ballymun store had outperformed the group’s expectations since opening in June 2020, with the welcome from Irish customers “incredibly warm”.

The store “will be for sure within the best performing stores overall in the group on a 12-month trend”, Mr Grandgeorge said. The Irish opening was, he added, Decathlon’s “best ever new country opening” in terms of sales and visitors to a new store.

He was speaking as the latest accounts for the Irish operation showed revenues fell by 7 per cent from €17.8 million to €16.58 million last year as Covid hit. A directors’ report within the numbers outlines plans to open two more stores “and expand in Limerick, Cork or Galway as a priority in the coming years”.

The directors’ report also notes that the business “has seen its market share grow in the Republic of Ireland as a result of the success of the online activity”.

The report states that “the company engaged in actions to control the level of margin of its activity and also reduce its cost base” in the face of Covid-19, with profits increasing as a result.

Supply centre

Since June 2018, Decathlon Ireland Sports Ltd also acts as the supply centre for the group’s European activities. As a result, the company’s revenues for last year totalled €5.52 billion, a decrease of 7 per cent on the €593 billion for 2019.

The company’s pretax profits last year increased 22.6 per cent to €53.3 million.

A breakdown of revenues show that €5.25 billion were generated in Europe, €299.7 million in “rest of world” and €16.58 million in Ireland.

The company paid out a dividend of €37.95 million.

Numbers employed last year more than tripled from 34 to 103 as staff costs increased by 139 per cent to €3.8 million. Mr Grandgeorge said the business was recruiting for more than 40 posts, including 20 positions for managerial roles in retail and finance.