Decathlon to add 25 Irish jobs after stellar opening week
French sports retail giant thanks Irish customers and plans to open two more stores
Bastien Grandgeorge, CEO Decathlon Ireland (right) and Kieran O’Shea, store leader in the new Decathlon, in Ballymun. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
French sports retail giant Decathlon is to create 25 new jobs following the hugely successful opening of its first Irish store last weekend, according to the company’s Irish chief executive Bastien Grandgeorge.
Mr Grandgeorge added that the retailer has “officially decided to start sourcing a store to lease to a local partner in Cork and Galway for the next step of development”. He said the chain aims to open the new stores as soon as appropriate sites can be identified.
“I want to thank all our 4,000 visitors a day for the last six days for their patience when queuing, and sincerely apologise for those who faced temporarily empty shelves,” he said.
“As I said already we have invested in Dublin for life, stock is coming back very very soon.”
Decathlon has more than 1,500 stores across more than 40 countries and turnover in excess of €12.4 billion. Ireland was one of the few European countries where it didn’t have a bricks and mortar presence.
Known as the “Ikea of sports” for its large, warehouse-style outlets and enormous range of keenly-priced sporting goods, Decathlon opened its first store adjacent to the Swedish retailer in Ballymun last Saturday.
It was due to open in April but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Mr Grandgeorge said on Friday that it had been a very busy week for the store since last weekend.
“Because of the current sanitarian measure, we are very strict on accepting only 150 households at the same time to ensure safe shopping experience in the store,” he said.
“For the first time ever in the story of a new store opening at Decathlon, we are experiencing a non-stop queue from 10am to 7pm every day. Average queuing time is 30 minutes and will decrease as we open seven days a week.
“Since we opened last Saturday, sports products are literally flying off the shelves.”
He said popular products included sailing and kayaking. “We sold 100 kayaks and stand-up paddles in six days,” he said. “Bikes of course, running. We sold all our first batch of tennis table stock in three days. Hiking/camping equipment and yoga.
“We have doubled the number of weekly deliveries in order to ensure fast replenishment and better availability in store.
“We have invested in two full electric trucks to ensure a green delivery in Dublin for our express 48-hour ship from store service to start at the beginning of July.
“We have decided to adapt our human structure and we are actually recruiting 25 more local sporty talents for all retail operations.”