Decathlon tees off in Tempe

DecathlonFrench sporting goods retailer Decathlon has kicked off on the Australian market, today launching its first local store at Tempe in Sydney.

Australian CEO Olivier Robinet said it took longer than originally planned to construct the 3,800 square metre Tempe store, which provides a suite of services that expand on its existing online offer.

“It will be one of the best retail experiences in Australia,” he told Inside Retail.

The Tempe location is now serving as a fulfilment centre for Decathlon’s current online presence following a limited store launch on Sunday.

Seven thousand products are available from the store at launch, with over 70 staff members covering over 70 different sports.

Despite launching the store on the same day as Amazon pressed ‘go’ on its anticipated Australian marketplace, Robinet isn’t concerned that the ecommerce giant will steal his thunder, saying that he thinks it’s a positive for Decathlon.

Meanwhile, Robinet is preparing to launch a new local ecommerce platform in April or May next year which will update existing infrastructure to better synergise with the physical store network as it expands.

Despite launching the store on the same day as Amazon pressed ‘go’ on its anticipated Australian marketplace, Robinet isn’t concerned that the ecommerce giant will steal his thunder, saying that he thinks it’s a positive for Decathlon.

“I’m very happy with the news, because it will develop web sales,” he said.

“We’re opening a new market…Australia is a sport market, but the mass value market just isn’t accessible for Aussies.”

Decathlon is no stranger to competing with Amazon, having done so successfully in markets throughout Europe with its private label-led value offer.

The giant is expected to threaten incumbent players within the $1.3 billion sports equipment market in Australia, including discount department stores and Super Retail Group.

Read more about Decathlon’s plans for its second Aussie store and Robinet’s thoughts on local competitors in this week’s magazine, out tomorrow.

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