Decathlon to open in Ballymun after €4.35m deal approved
Dublin City Council to sell site beside Ikea outlet to French sports retail giant
One of Europe’s largest sports retailers Decathlon is to open its first ‘megastore’ in the State 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 some 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.
While some products might be set at a slightly higher price than in other European countries, due to higher VAT rates, its children’s range would be the cheapest across Europe, due to the zero VAT rate on children’s clothes.