Intersport in £350,000 investment at Rushmere to open UK's first new ‘concept' superstore
INTERNATIONAL sports retailer Intersport has opened its first new ‘concept' superstore at Rushmere shopping centre in a £350,000 investment creating 12 jobs in Craigavon.
The world's largest multi-brand sportswear and sporting equipment retailer's new 4,500 sq. ft. store is located adjacent to Debenham's and H&M on Rushmere's south mall.
The 350,000 sq ft complex in Craigavon, which attracts 6.5 million shoppers a year, is a major draw for national, international, independent and local brands and this latest signing confirms its position as one of Northern Ireland's best retail success stories.
Now fully let, leading clothing brand River Island also reaffirmed its commitment to Rushmere, investing further in extending and opening a newly-enhanced store.
Rushmere shopping centre manager Martin Walsh said: “Intersport is a recognised world leader and innovator in sportswear and equipment retailing and we're delighted to welcome the team to Rushmere.
"Its arrival is a big win for us, and the wider area, and it represents a perfect fit among the many big names already present, complementing well the breadth of our wide retail offer which our customers demand.”
Switzerland-based Intersport, which has more than 5,400 shops in 42 countries, has plans to expand the number of its new Intersport 2.0 concept stores next year and Rushmere is expected to be one of only 10 locations across Europe to secure its investment this year.
In addition to a rapidly-enhanced choice of sporting goods on offer, the all-new Intersport House of Sport at Rushmere will also exclusively offer ‘Gait Analysis', helping customers choose the right pair of trainers to suit their needs.
It will also provide a base for a busy schedule of topical information events on a range of subjects from nutrition, sporting injury and advice on how to excel across a range of sporting fields through events held in-store.
Padraic McKeever, managing director of sports merchandising Ireland and House of Sport, which holds the local franchise, said: “Intersport is an outstanding world class brand and we're delighted to facilitate its arrival at Rushmere. The culmination of many months of planning and preparation, the new world class superstore has been well worth the wait and we are thrilled by the reaction so far.”
The key elements of the new concept store are based on a ‘zoned' shopping experience, specialising in men's and women's training, running, team sport, swimming and young athletes. Products from the world's top brands such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour are merchandised within these zones by these categories and gender.
The new Rushmere store has a strong focus on the female consumer with over 40 per cent of the store dedicated to women's running and training. The concept allows Intersport to go into more depth in these chosen categories, offering a wider range of products and models than competitors.
The store also provides several digital touch points including on-line shopping and a digital hub offering information on local sports clubs, park run and what's on in sport within the community.
Neil Venables, general manager of Intersport UK, said: “We're delighted to have landed the first Intersport 2.0 new store concept at Rushmere. The Intersport mission is to inspire, serve and connect with the everyday athlete through performance sport and sport-inspired lifestyle. With Padraic's investment and expertise this will see a fantastic sports store open with the consumer at its heart.”
Rushmere Shopping Centre and retail complex is one of the largest retail destinations in Northern Ireland, attracting over 6.5 million visitors a year. The 350,000-sq. ft. shopping centre and 120,000 sq. ft. retail park is anchored by Debenhams, Sainsburys, TK Maxx and Dunnes.
Colleen Fox of Rushmere's letting agent Savills, said: “The new Intersport House of Sport superstore will join an outstanding retail complex which continues to attract consumers from right across the region.
"The increasing demand for retail unit space, and available space at a premium within Rushmere is encouraging and demonstrates the attractiveness of this prime shopping centre.”