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Sports Direct gets a boost with new Laois store

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Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

Sports Direct gets a boost with new Laois store

Sports Direct in Laois has undergone a re-fit to give the customers an enhanced shopping experience that aims to offer an unrivalled range of choice from top sports and lifestyle brands.

The 21,000 sq. ft site at Laois Retail Park has been fitted to a high standard throughout and will include in-store fashion retailers USC and Brand Max.

Sports Direct says its investment in the store is part of the retail company's strategy to elevate its portfolio in Ireland. It is also partnering with the FAI to help provide 760 places for children at summer soccer schools in Co. Laois.

Leonard Brassel, Managing Director of Sports Direct in Ireland said: “We are investing in a new generation of stores and we're delighted to have an opportunity to serve customers in a great location like Laois. We're also pleased to be supporting summer soccer schools in the area and we look forward to having a close relationship with the local community.”

The Sports Direct store in Laois will be modelled along similar lines to the retail group's flagship store in Dublin, which offers great products from global brands such as adidas, Nike, Puma, Under Armour.

The retail company's new generation stores typically have a fresh modern look, combined with exceptional visual merchandising and high quality products from iconic brands.

The Dublin store opened eighteen months ago, and it has been tremendously well-received by local customers and leading third party brands, including O'Neills.

Meanwhile USC at the Laois site will additionally offer customers an exciting range of top fashion brands such as Calvin Klein, Converse, Levi's and Lacoste. Designer outlet Brand Max will offer more great fashion labels.

The Laois store is aligned with Sports Direct's wider retail elevation strategy, which is a five to ten-year programme that aims to enhance the customer journey towards new levels of excellence.

Sports Direct was founded as a single store in the UK in 1982 and now operates over 750 stores across Europe, Asia and America. This includes almost 50 stores in Ireland under various fascias including SPORTSDIRECT. com, USC, Heatons and Brand Max.

The summer soccer schools in County Laois are part of a nationwide sponsorship agreement between Sports Direct and the FAI that involves 400 soccer camps across Ireland. These provide five days of fun-filled coaching with FAI accredited coaches, plus each child receives an exclusive kit, backpack, football and certificate.

Last year around 35,000 children took part in the soccer schools, and bookings are now open for 2018. Places cost just €65 for five days, and there are family discounts available. For details go to www.summersoccerschools.ie.

Sports Direct also recently announced that it is providing sponsorship for five GAA clubs. These include Listry in Kerry, Bellaghy in Derry, Ballygunner in Waterford, Clane in Kildare, and St Dominic's in Roscommon. This dynamic partnership will see Sports Direct develop strong ties with the GAA community and invest in grassroots GAA (#SDgaelic).

The sponsorship agreement is accompanied by a multi-media campaign that will see elite GAA players demonstrating their hurling skills in videos available over the summer under the hashtag #SDskillset.

Leonard Brassel said: “Sports Direct is committed to a great future in Ireland, and we're very proud to be involved in helping to make grassroots sport accessible to families.

“The association between Sports Direct and the GAA community is an incredibly exciting and important one. We look forward to working with the GAA clubs and most importantly their families over the coming years.”