My opinion on the new Décathlon Mega Store in Paris

My opinion on the new Décathlon Mega Store in Paris

Décathlon, the French innovative and affordably priced sportswear and sports equipment specialist is expanding its network within Paris. In that perspective, a 3,500 sqm megastore has recently opened on the outskirts of the 14th district, in a small yet highly visible mall by the ring road.

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The brand has picked up a location – formerly operated by furniture brand Conforama – above a Monoprix supermarket which is the main traffic puller of the site since a few years now.

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Let’s explore this Decathlon. Thanks to its generous sales floor, the store features more than 65 sport activities.

On the flip side, the less enthusiastic visitors would feel that the atmosphere is pretty dull. Or, if we can put it this way, 100% functional. I am afraid that immersive retail experience addicts may not find innovative initiatives worth spreading here. Décathlon’s first and foremost objective seems to showcase its impressively wide range of private labels in a clean and basic environment. Period.

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As usual with Décathlon, the signage system is highly effective. Discount prices as well as specific technical characteristics are clearly showcased.

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At the time I visited the store, camping and hiking were highlighted in the main alley.

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Next to the shoe department (running, hiking and football), Décathlon has installed smart fixtures to test products in real conditions of use. Unfortunately, the staging is pretty minimalistic and could have been a bit more immersive and fun.

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The store also features some repair stations for bikes or tennis rackets A very much appreciated service that could have been made more visible to the public.

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Connected devices such as GPS trackers are also available. Even though these items are generally sold for more than 100 euros, Decathlon has decided to showcase them in basic displays without any sharp focus on technical features. Maybe a good method to attract a larger audience who can sometimes feel a bit intimidated in fancy sport performance stores.

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Thanks to multiple digital kiosks throughout the store, the store makes it possible to get access to the whole range of products available in Décathlon’s warehouses. You can also leave a comment about the experience you have in store.

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In the checkout area, a large click and collect zone has been installed. A must-have service French shoppers are now used to and really appreciate.

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Contrary to the creative Décathlon City urban concept recently opened in central Paris, this mega store is, above all, a sport supermarket at discount prices dedicated to families in need for the greatest value for money.

Thanks to its rich assortment, this store can be considered as a sport destination center within the catchment area. As a consequence, the Go Sport store (the runner-up on the French sport market) sited on the other side of the ring road is likely to suffer badly from this stiffer competition.