International sporting brand Decathlon has officially announced its plans to play ball in the Australian market.
The French company will open its first Australian location in Tempe, Sydney this October with a Melbourne store to follow in 2018. More openings are planned across the country.
Decathlon is one of the world’s largest sporting retailers and is often referred to as the Ikea of sporting goods, due to its large warehouse-style stores and extensive product range.
The retailer’s online store has been available in Australia for a year, but the physical stores will ramp up its presence with a more extensive product range.
It will cover 70 sports, from cycling to surfing, and stock more than 7,000 different models.
Decathlon Australia CEO Olivier Robinet said the company is prepared to disrupt the Australian sporting goods market.
“[At] the moment, many Australians have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a quality product,” he said. “Decathlon is about to change this…
“Decathlon is coming to Australia to provide Australians with the largest choice of quality, affordably-priced sporting goods under one roof. Our priority is to offer a low-cost product that matches up to the big-name brand competitors in quality.”
One point of difference for Decathlon is its extensive investment in research and development, which leads the company to register up to 40 patents per year.
The company owns 20 brands, each representing a different sport or group of sports, with a dedicated product development and design team working to create new products.
“We are also great innovators,” said Robinet. “We have research and development facilities all over France to develop the latest innovative designs…
“At Decathlon, we believe that all products should be of premium quality in order to make sport more accessible to the everyday Australian.”
At a time when the influx of foreign retailers has many local businesses uneasy, Decathlon is eager to position itself as committed to supporting the local community.
“We will support the local community through partnerships and a strong emphasis on engaging local services to support our business operations and growth,” said Robinet. “Decathlon is determined to contribute to the local economy and to assist Australians to participate in sport.”
Decathlon’s announcement comes after UK sports chain JD Sports opened its first Australian store last month.
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