Growth plan for Singapore
Headquartered in Lille, France, Decathlon first entered Singapore as an online store in 2012 and opened its first ‘experience store’ in Bedok in 2016. Since then, he has opened five more megastores with a full range of 5,000 products for customers to try.
It also has 9 other smaller ‘click to pick up’ stores for a total of 15 stores across Singapore.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted some to adopt an active lifestyle or try other sports, but the growth in some sports made up for the decline in others, so the decision to move to the decathlon continued. The impact of is mixed.
“There has been a boom in home fitness and cycling during the pandemic,” Veyret said. “At the same time, however, pools and soccer fields were closed, which caused a significant drop in swimming and football sales.
Now that travel and most domestic restrictions have been lifted, the opposite is happening, with sales of hiking gear rebounding again while pandemic topsellers such as dumbbells and yoga mats are down.
Similarly, online website orders are down from a year ago as customers return to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
“So you can’t say we benefited from the pandemic because on the one hand the numbers exploded and on the other hand we suffered,” Veyret said.
Overall, however, Decathlon is “still growing” and has profitable operations in Singapore, Veyret said. As such, the company aims to increase its presence here and eventually reach the “nearly golden number” of his 37 stores.
These will be mostly click-and-collect outlets, covering all of Singapore and ensuring customers have a Decathlon store within 10 minutes of where they live, he said.
We also plan to open another experiential store in northern Singapore. According to Veyret, such megastores serve another purpose.
“In France, for example, it was our store that first rode a bike, so we have customers for life.
However, Decathlon is “in no hurry” to open these new stores. “Time is not an issue,” Veyret said, emphasizing that retailers are more focused on quality, including finding “the right place at the right rent.”