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Decathlon continues relentless march into new markets

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An artist’s impression of the first-ever Decathlon store in Ireland, which is set to open in April.

French retail giant, Decathlon, owner of the Caperlan fishing brand, has continued its relentless march into new export markets.

The company, which currently has 1,500 stores in more than 50 countries worldwide, started construction this month on its first store in Ireland. Located in Ballymun, an outer suburb of Dublin, the retail outlet is expected to open its doors in April next year.

Depending in the success of the venture, Decathlon may swiftly follow the debut store in the country with others in the capital city as well as Cork, Galway and Waterford.

The roll-out of the brand in the Republic has been more challenging than expected, attributed to the high cost of doing business in Ireland, according to Bastien Grandgeorge, Chief Executive of Decathlon in Ireland. 

He told The Irish Times that he was ‘very surprised’ at construction costs, which he said were on a par with Singapore, where he opened a number of Decathlon stores before moving to Ireland.

Decathlon first started selling into the Irish market via its website in August 2017 and averages 170 orders a day – over 60,000 a year. “It is 30% more than we expected in year two,” added Grandgeorge.

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