Debuting to the public in Emeryville, California, Decathlon opens its doors on a 47,000-square-foot store. It marks the first full-fledged Decathlon location in the U.S. after the brand test launched a smaller “Lab Store” in nearby San Francisco last year.
Decathlon stakes its brand on selling a wide array of outdoor gear — by its count, catering to more than 100 different sports — at steeply discounted prices. It accomplishes this through vertical integration, overseeing R&D, manufacturing, distribution, and sales.
Decathlon’s first American shoppers will likely encounter aisles of brands they’ve never heard of: Quechua (hiking), Kalenji (running), B’Twin (cycling), and Wed’ze (ski/snowboarding) are just a few of Decathlon’s private brands.
And because it oversees all elements from product design to delivery, a lot of the gear costs half of or less than well-known brands’ comparable products. Additionally, Decathlon says it monitors customer reviews on its website. Any gear that doesn’t maintain at least a 3-star rating loses its spot on the shelf.