Decathlon launches 'Frictionless' Shopping in India!

The new retail cum experience outlet that stretches across a sprawling 3000 square ft with a capacity to engage more than thousand audience in various activities
Sylvain Deschamps

French sports frontrunner Decathlon, which has found a growing audience in India in recent years has further expanded its presence in the National Capital Region with its biggest store at one of the prominent mall of Noida.

The new retail cum experience outlet that stretches across a sprawling 3000 square ft with a capacity to engage more than thousand audience in activities such as Zumba, Flash Mob, Hula Hoop, Football Freestyle, Rep wars, Basketball shootouts amongst others. The newly opened store features about 80,000 SKUs in different categories.

The fitness trailblazer, which has redefined the way people buy sportswear through it’s highly involving and experience centered stores, has already been operating around 12 outlets in the national capital, its nearby regions, and 70 outlets across India. Also presented at launch, Sylvain Deschamps, City Sports Leader, Decathlon Noida speaks more the new store.

Decathlon is almost a decade old brand in India. How is your experience so far in this market?

This is our 12th store in Delhi/ NCR, I feel proud to say that we are very responsible brand and so far we have gone step by step. And, we keep on leaning to better resonate better to our Indian patrons. We have not come with our French concept in India to do copy past job. We are trying to be local as much as possible.  We started with license of cash and carry at the beginning, and today we are one of the largest sports retailers in India.

In this last ten years we have tried to understand what Indian consumers really want. India is Cricket loving country, as a sports retailer we understood we need Cricket.  Since, we do design, product, research and development logistics everything by our own, so we are constantly engaged product innovation.

How do you assess the growth of sports retail market in India since you started operating in this market?

Indian Sports market is huge and largely untapped. We at Decathelon believe that only five percent population of India actually who consume sporting gear, so there is large share of population out there which is still untapped. However, as this percentage continues to grow we are hopeful for further growth in this market.

Today, many global sportswear retailers are operating in India. Who do you see as your competition?

The organizsed market in this space is just start to opening up, creating a room for everybody. The USP of Indian market is, it has a strong balance of international brands as well as local shops which is able to provide very good service. We are placed in between as we want proximity with the need of local consumers and provide high standard products at affordable price points.

What is Decathlon’s Omnichannel strategy in India? What new technologies you have implement to improve the buying experience?

With the new store, Decathlon aims to boost up the buying experience, through its dedicated activity and community zones for fitness and sports enthusiasts. 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, which we have introduced as the part of our Omnichannel strategy. Soon this feature will introduce in our other stores as well.

All retail activities we are initialing, is for improving convenience. We want to do things faster without compromising the vales.

What are the plans to expand the brand through online channel? Are you looking to go on leading market places such as Flipkart, Amazon as the part of distribution strategy?

Yes, I do agree online is growing channel. However, we will continue to grow via our exclusive network be it online or offline. We do not intend to go on market places for now.


Sylvain Deschamps