Sports Direct to open new Belfast store in time for Christmas

Sport Direct is set to open a new store at Connswater Shopping Centre in Belfast
Gareth McKeown

SPORTS DIRECT is set to open a new store at Connswater Shopping Centre in Belfast, creating over 30 jobs.

The new 4,500 sq ft outlet will be Mike Ashley's brand's 12th in the north and is set to open on December 12.

It is one of several notable deals to have taken place recently at Connswater, including the opening of Brand Max, Savers Health and Beauty and a Tim Horton's drive-thru.

The latest investment, which it is believed will create over 30 jobs, also follows the opening of national home, garden and leisure retail chain, The Range in 2017, which created 80 jobs at a 55,000 sq ft anchor unit.

Laura McCarthy, property asset manager of Connswater owners, Alfred Street Properties Ltd said they are delighted to welcome another tenant to the growing centre.

“This year has been exceptional for Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park and we are delighted to finish on a high with the arrival of Sports Direct," Ms McCarthy said.

"We know that this is a very popular retailer and our customers will welcome the opening in the run up to Christmas. It is also a great boost for the local economy.

“Since the opening of The Range at the end of last year there has been a substantial increase in footfall by 50 per cent to the scheme and we have continued to build on that successful momentum throughout 2018. We are looking ahead to next year with optimism and we continue to explore opportunities to improve and diversify our offering.”

A spokesperson for added:

“We offer something for everybody and we're very proud to be opening a store in a great location like Connswater Shopping Centre.

“As we continue to grow throughout the UK, our ethos has never changed in that we offer our customers the biggest brands in all types of sportswear, footwear and sports equipment at low prices.”

Founded in 1982, Sports Direct International PLC is the UK's largest sporting goods retailer, and operates a diversified portfolio of sports, fitness, fashion and lifestyle fascias and brands.

Last year the company acquired the Irish brand, Heatons, which included 57 stores on the island of Ireland.

In August Sports Direct bought department store chain, House of Fraser for £90m, in a deal which saved the troubled retailer from going into administration.

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