Decathlon confirms San Francisco store, first US location

A little more than ten years after quitting the US, Decathlon confirmed on Tuesday its return to the North American market, as previously reported by FashionNetwork.com in August, opening its first store and point of sale in California.

The store is located on Market Street in the centre of San Francisco - Decathlon

Covering 800 square metres, the leading French sports retailer's first American store will open its doors in "mid-autumn" on San Francisco's Market Street, according to a press release. 

Focusing on a single American state will allow Decathlon "to familiarise itself with the local sporting scene before expanding across the United States," said the European retailer. 

Indeed, the group doesn't want to make the same mistakes as last time, when the firm attempted a massive foray into the US market. In 1999, the leading French sporting goods retailer acquired 18 stores from MVP Sports, but the experience was short-lived, and Decathlon ended up leaving the US in 2006.

"Our arrival today has nothing to do with our attempts back in 1999. We aren't the same firm, in terms of professionalism or our proposed product offering. I don't want to bring to the average American consumer the same products they can find at another store 500 metres down the road," said Michel d'Humières, US regional manager.

"With the San Francisco lab, I hope that we can meet the needs of the American sporting people and co-design an offering together that suits them."

Decathlon is already present in 34 countries. And, as the group's growth in France has slowed somewhat in recent years (+2.2% in 2017, compared to +3.7% in 2014), the firm remains open about its desires to expand retail operations into new global markets.

In May 2017, the retailer announced plans to open 100 stores in Australia. It also opened this summer its first outlet in Israel.  

In 2016, the group, which recorded 67% of its transactions abroad, opened 164 new stores, of which the majority were overseas. 

Last year, Decathlon reported revenues of 10 billion euros, with 3.3 billion euros made in France.

With AFP

Translated by Benjamin Fitzgerald

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