BoyleSports opens up 250th bookmakers shop in Ireland... and is now aiming for 300
A bookmaker chain founded in Co Armagh has said it's aiming for a total of 300 shops across Ireland despite gloom over the future of retail.
BoyleSports, which was founded by John Boyle in Markethill in 1982, is opening up in Kilcullen in Co Kildare, its 250th shop in Ireland.
There are seven BoyleSports in Northern Ireland. The chain acquired bookies in Keady and Omagh last year. It already owns two in Newry, one in Camlough, another in Crossmaglen and the original in Markethill.
Chief executive Conor Gray - who succeeded John Boyle last year - said: "I am delighted that we have reached the 250-shop target set by John Boyle, BoyleSports founder and executive chairman.
"Having reached that target, we still feel there is plenty of room for BoyleSports to flourish.
"When an Irish customer wants to place a bet, they should have access to a BoyleSports store. We think 300 shops should help us meet that target.
"People have talked down the future of retail in Ireland. Although the online and mobile channels are increasingly important, we remain committed to retail customers.
"If you know how to give your customers a great retail experience, they will always come back to you."
Expansion into Great Britain has also been a long-term ambition.
But in 2016, an attempt to buy 270 shops which fell outside the merger of Ladbrokes-Coral was unsuccessful.