Thurrock Decathlon in make or break for sports retailer

Published:  22 December, 2005

French sports retailer Decathlon became the latest retailer to take space on The Junction’s Thurrock Retail Park in Essex last month. The 30,000 sq ft shed is a relocation for the retailer from nearby Romford and according to property director Simon Phippen its success will determine future rollout plans in the UK. The store benefits from high levels of visibility compared to many of its neighbours and can be seen by shoppers using the Lakeside approach roads.

Phippen commented: “This really is make or break for us. If it doesn’t work we might as well pack up and our bags and go home.” He added that there are no further stores on the drawing board, but that if Thurrock is succeeds it might form a template for future openings.

Decathlon opened its first UK store at Surrey Quays in 2000 and now has five stores. Internationally, Decathlon has nearly 200 stores in its home country, over 300 in Spain and has been spreading its wings in Eastern Europe with the first store in Hungary opening this year and Poland already up and running. It is due to welcome its first Muscovite shoppers when it throws open the doors of a store in the city early in 2006.

Asda also swelled the Thurrock Retail Park ranks with the opening of a two-floor “Living” store, its third in the UK, in October.

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