Athlone Towncentre has announced another significant boost for the local economy with the confirmation that Sports Direct, Europe’s biggest retailer of sports and fitness footwear, clothing and equipment, will become a new anchor tenant in Q2/Q3 of this year.
As a one million euro refurbishment of the store (funded and undertaken by Athlone Towncentre ) proceeds, the retail space will occupy a 19,000 square foot space on the ground floor and will comprise the amalgamation of five retail units on a single floor.
Commenting on the Sports Direct development, Shirley Delahunt, Marketing Manager, Athlone Towncentre expressed her delight with the arrival of Sports Direct.
“This news represents an important boost for the local economy and will generate even bigger footfall into the town with customers attracted by major brands such as Zara and H&M who are not available elsewhere in the Midlands/West of Ireland region.
“Overall, the calendar year 2022 was a buoyant one for business in Athlone Towncentre and concluded with retailers reporting brisk Christmas business. From the very start, our ambition has been to become the leading shopping destination in the region - Sports Direct joining us in 2023 consolidates that position in addition to Zara, H&M, TK Maxx, M&S, River Island, NEXT and Eason available here under one roof,” Ms Delahunt stated.
Meanwhile, a programme of ongoing investment in Athlone Towncentre continues apace. Currently, a multi-million euro mechanical and electrical retrofit project is underway in the shopping centre and car park where the owners are investing a significant proportion of this cost. The project involves the replacement of various items of plant and equipment with modern energy efficient alternatives and also includes the replacement of the entire lighting system with LEDs (3,000 individual light fittings ). Upon its completion, this project is anticipated to reduce lighting energy consumption by over 50%.
In addition, the completion of a public toilet refurbishment programme is in the pipeline for the end of Q1 2023.
Alan Shaw, President of Athlone Chamber of Commerce, has also welcomed the soon to open Sports Direct retail space.
“This is very welcome news to hear from Athlone Towncentre that Sports Direct will open during this year, generating new jobs and new revenue for our local economy. I have no doubt that customers will respond positively to their arrival and we look forward to Sports Direct opening its doors to the Athlone and Midlands region public in due course,” Mr Shaw remarked.