Amazon has flicked the switch on its Australian operations today but so has another large international retailer that has flown under the radar. The launch of Decathlon seems to have been missed by a trade media obsessed with the Amazon launch this week
As someone who spends his time working on the growth plans for a number of businesses either defending against new competitors or going on after them, this business represents a profound change in the retail and wholesale environment in which they now operate in here in Australia. . Their Tempe store next to Ikea opens today on a membership model. Based on my visits to other regions in which they operate Decathlon built its business building large box stores on the peripheral roads circling the major cities and towns of France, Spain and I assume other European countries. They are large retail formats with stock organised by sport covering hunting, hiking and fishing through to cycling and running and all team sports. They appear to be leading with their membership model in Australia although the membership is not so high profile in other markets it operates. They have their own home brands and also sometimes stock the leading brand - a sort of Aldi for sports people.
Expect to see a lot more of Decathalon in the coming months and years particularly if you have an interest in recreation or sports retail or even if you are just after some cheap footy boots for the child of yours that keeps growing out of the old ones. If you are looking to watch the cricket this afternoon their store also has a bank of screens showing non stop sport.
'We are delighted to finally be in Australia, and to have our feet on the ground in Tempe. We are ready to make sport accessible to more Aussies than ever and we hope to become a hub of the local sporting community. Our high quality, low priced products will be available under 1 roof, with a sports pitch and experience zones making it easy to test our own brand products. I can't wait to meet you all in Spring!' Danny, Football & Tempe Store Leader