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Decathlon eyes up Best Buy stores

French sportswear retailer Decathlon is reportedly looking to take over several of the Best Buy stores as it plots to open 100 UK stores.

Decathlon, which has just 12 UK stores, is looking to expand following the collapse of Blacks Leisure and poor trading for JJB, according to The Sunday Telegraph. It is thought the world’s biggest sportswear retailer is in talks to open several stores on the Best Buy sites, which are up for sale following the company’s decision to pull out of the UK market. The newspaper said the move has put the retailer head-to-head with Morrisons, which is eyeing up some of the locations for its Kiddicare brand.

Decathlon UK managing director Steve Dykes told The Sunday Telegraph that despite the poor economic climate and the fall out of some retailers, “the window of opportunity can be quite small, and now is the right time to shoot for it”.

Last week Decathlon was announced as one of the bidders for the Olympic press and broadcast centre. Its parent company Oxylane Group aims to turn the venue into a sports leisure village with Loughborough University. The retailer already has a shop on a “sports village” in Orford Park, Warrington and is eyeing up a site just off the M1, near Nottingham.

Decathlon has 500 stores in 16 countries, according to Planet Retail, and generated global sales of $9bn (£5.9bn) in its most recent financial year. Last year Sports Direct’s sales were £1.45bn.

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