Intersport House of Sport is to close its Portadown and Lurgan branches and invest £250,000 in a new superstore at Rushmere Shopping Centre.
The move will create around 12 new jobs and the shop, one of 15 new Intersport concept stores across Europe, will be the first in the UK.
It is set to open at the start of October in the former Internacionale unit (beside Debenhams), with contractors on site in mid-August for the fit-out.
The Portadown store, located in High Street Mall, and the Lurgan store, at Gilpinstown Road, will close mid-September, as will the Newry store, in Buttercrane Shopping centre.
Between them the three stores employ around eight full-time equivalents and all of these staff will be relocated.
A spokesperson for House of Sport said clearance sales have started, with £150,000 of stock earmarked and discounts of up to 80 per cent.
He said, “The Rushmere store will replicate the community feel of the present shops while providing bigger store space to stock what local people want.”
As well as increased stock, which will be more readily available, the store’s services will include gait analysis, which helps customers choose the correct pair of trainers to suit their needs.
It will also run seminars in store dealing with topics such as nutrition and sports injuries.
A click and collect service is also planned for further down the line.
Padraic McKeever, managing director of Sports Merchandising Ireland and House of Sport, said, “We are hugely excited at what we are going to be bringing to the Craigavon area in the coming months. This will be the culmination of many months of planning and preparation, and we believe that the new store we are set to open is nothing short of world-class.
“We are privileged that Intersport have selected us for this new concept store, and it is testament to our staff and our customers that they are putting this level of faith in us. We are a local company, employing local people, and who see ourselves at the heart of the local community and of local sport. This is a venture which will benefit all our athletes and our consumers, and will raise the bar for sports retail in the mid-Ulster area.”
More than 60 staff are employed at the company’s headquarters on the Charlestown Road, Portadown. These positions, 12 of which were created this year, are shared between House of Sport, its website and its teamwear sales.