Decathlon, which specialises in sports goods, has joined the league of few retailers in India which have rolled out concept stores sans cashiers. For the first time in India, this sporting goods retailer has introduced the concept of technology-powered, hassle-free shopping experience with self-checkout counters equipped with scan and pay app for billing. This concept has been introduced at its recently launched biggest store located at one of the prominent malls in Noida. Now, this French retailer plans to implement this technology across all its 70 stores in India in a gradual manner. The Decathlon ‘scan and go’ app allows customers to scan and pay for items using their smartphone, automatically disabling the RFID security tag so as to leave them free to exit the store without any need to wait in a queue for checkout.
The New Store
It is part of the omnichannel strategy of the retailer to improve shopping experience. The new retail-cum-experience outlet that stretches across a sprawling 3,000 sq. feet has the capacity to engage more than a 1,000 people in activities such as zumba, flash mob, hula hoop, football freestyle, rep wars and basketball shootouts, amongst others. The store features about 80,000 SKUs in different sport categories.
Technology Triggers Experience
Decathlon opened its first store in Bangalore in 2009. The brand caters to more than 50 sports via its unique product offering. Despite being French in origin, the brand continuously strives to better resonate with the local demands and preferences and thus majorly invests in research and development to make its product offering unique to Indian audience. With the new store, Decathlon aims to boost up the buying experience through its dedicated activity and community zones for fitness and sports enthusiasts.
Elaborating about the concept and strategy, Sylvain Deschamps, City Sports Leader, Decathlon, says, “We are always looking for exciting ways to improve the experience of our customers and to remove friction from their in-store journey. The store doesn’t just offer a superior experience of interiors and activities but also banks on digital services such as self-checkout counter scan and pay app for billing to improve the buying experience.” In order to further improve the shopping experience, the store has dedicated sections for women, men, children and teenagers, and is primed to fulfill the multifarious needs of a raging fitness enthusiast.
Space and Strategy
A dedicated space for fitness aficionados adds another dimension to this outlet, while the community space provides customers an opportunity to practice their favourite fitness activities – be it augmented reality golf, simulator zone or skating rink. According to the company, the brand does not intend to go spread its online reach with marketplaces such as Flipkart and Amazon, among others. Instead, it will continue to expand via its exclusive online and offline channels.