Decathlon, the French giant in sportswear and equipment, was ready to put the Irish sports retail market through its paces last April. The conglomerate was set to open its flagship store beside Ikea in Ballymun in Dublin two months ago. It also won a planning appeal in March to build a second 3,200 sq.m. store in the capital at Liffey Valley Retail Park. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. “We had been expecting this moment for a very, very long time now,” says Xavier Rivoire, Head of Decathlon corporate communication. Traditional Irish sport retailers are banking on established brands and customer loyalty to fend…
Decathlon’s new Dublin store is built around a hands-on sporting experience, but management has promised strong health and safety measures.