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There are nine already with three more to come this year...

French sports retailer Decathlon is planning to open stores at the rate of '10 a year' over the next decade.

There are currently nine Decathlon superstores open in such places as London's Surrey Quays, Nottingham, Sheffield and Belfast with Edinburgh and Warrington due to open in November and December, then Bolton after that.

According to UK trade website BikeBiz, Decathlon currently employs around 1,000 people staff in the UK, with reported annual revenue of around £100 million. The 100 store target will include a new smaller value-style store format – named Koodza – to be introduced by the retailer.

The Manchester area is to be a focus, with Decathlon UK chief executive Steve Dykes explaining, "The UK has massive potential and the North West is a key expansion market for us."

The significance to UK cyclists and the business in general is that Decathlon take their bike department very seriously indeed, as anyone who has ever been to one of the French superstores will testify. Or, indeed, here, with road.cc blogger jimmythecuckoo eulogising last year in his 'homage to Decathlon' that 'some cycle snobs may think this statement is mental but I have nothing but praise for them in general and even in a cycling context.'

On staffing policy, "There is a big focus on recruiting sports people," according to Decathlon's Kimberley Bower, "so people who do sport to a good level or are very passionate about sport. We have a few professionals and Olympic athletes working in our UK stores. "

Own-brand value bikes and kit has always been a strength with Decathlon; their bargain-priced Geonaute CW700 Heart Rate Monitor got a 7/10 score in a road.cc review last year and attracting the summary, "Innovative, user-friendly training aid best suited to less experienced riders."

10 comments

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jezzzer [329 posts] 4 years ago
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yay and yay. decathlon rocks.

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Paul M [360 posts] 4 years ago
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Actually, I wouldn't only buy a bike from Decathlon,they sell virtually every type of sports or outdoor equipment and clothing (from horseriding to kitesurfing), with some excellent own-brand bargains. Check out their fleeces, rashvests, wetsuits, trainers, skiwear etc.

I look forward to seeing them open up near me - so far I have had to go to their stores in France.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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First discovered Decathlon in France and was delighted when they opened up over here. Was learning to ride horses over there on various hols, got kitted out for fraction of what it would have cost here.

Imagine, a sports store that actually sells sports equipment, staffed by people who actually play sports...  39

I bought the (now) missus a bike there for her birthday four months after we met. She recently said that was when she knew I was really serious about our future. Sweet, eh...?  31

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 4 years ago
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Decathlon is an excellent chain - their cycling offer is good value as is their trekking/hiking stuff.

Their bike departments are good - each model in their range is impressively specced for its price, their techs seem pretty good at what they do and because the stores are so huge it's possible to have a test ride up and down the aisle.

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antonio [1124 posts] 4 years ago
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Must be good if the customers camp out on the car park, (see photo above)

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Skardy [89 posts] 4 years ago
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I love decathlon, got a load of winter kit in summer for ridiculous prices, time will tell but looks good quality.

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BigDonn [46 posts] 4 years ago
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I got a pair of their bib tights for £18 in summer - their high end stuff is very good quality for the price.

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daviddb [132 posts] 4 years ago
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Didn't they invent the mass market pop up tent? Excellent!

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DecathlonUK [1 post] 4 years ago
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Thank you for all your fab comments about Decathlon. It's nice to know you all enjoy our shops. Hope to see you all in store again soon  1

Decathlon UK

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 4 years ago
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DecathlonUK wrote:

Thank you for all your fab comments about Decathlon. It's nice to know you all enjoy our shops. Hope to see you all in store again soon  1

will you send us one of those pop-up tents? it'll save mat having to change in the bushes when we do the clothing shoots  1