Decathlon, one of the country’s leading retailers of bicycles and cycling parts and accessories, has outlined to road.cc how new store restrictions put in place in England in response to the government’s latest restrictions to try and contain the spread of the coronavirus are affecting its stores.
The UK arm of the French-owned business’s website currently details which stores are open and for which goods and services, split under four columns – Entire store, Bikes & scooters only, C&C [click & collect] and Workshop.
In Scotland, stores in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow (Braehead) are fully open, as is the company’s store in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
None of the company’s 40 stores in England is fully open, but many are providing click & collect facilities and, in a number of locations, are also selling bikes and scooters, as well as their workshops operating. More details can be found here.
Decathlon UK cycling market leader, Peter Lazarus, told road.cc: “I can confirm that not all stores have remained open but a variety of elements come into play, not only a location within a shopping centre.
“For example our store in Cambridge remains open for cycles and the workshop, and it is located within a shopping centre.
“Factors such as projected drop in footfall, local demand, nearby stores and customer/colleague safety are all weighed up before making the final decision.”
When England first entered lockdown back in March, there was huge demand for bicycles as well as parts and accessories, leading to supply chain issues across a number of retailers, including Decathlon.
We asked Lazarus if it was the same this time around.
“Once again, we are experiencing a big surge in sales for spare parts online albeit not as insane as during the first large scale lockdown,” he replied.
“Availability is sketchy in quite a few categories but we're using our European supply network to bring in more stock in key lines as well as working with our existing local suppliers to obtain additional stock.”
Many of the products Decathlon sells fall under its own brands, and as a global retailer, the high demand for bikes and cycling products internationally also comes into the picture, as Lazarus pointed out.
“The very high demand of 2020 coupled with a strain on worldwide supply continues to make these very challenging times with no let-up in the short term,” he said.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.