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Decathlon ‘committed’ to Australian market despite losses

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Decathlon Australia chief, Olivier Robinet: “Australians love Decathlon.”

Decathlon, the world’s biggest sporting goods retailer and owner of the Caperlan fishing brand, insists that almost $20 million in losses will not change its expansion plans in Australia.

The retail heavyweight, which opened its first store in 2017 in Sydney and has since opened four more – three in Melbourne – says it has plans for as many as 35 outlets.

But the latest accounts revealed a net loss of $10.8 million in 2018, following a net loss of $8.77 million the previous year, reports the Sun Herald website.

However, despite a difficult trading environment, Decathlon’s sales leapt from $3.6 million to $17.3 million over the same period. And Decathlon Australia boss, Olivier Robinet, says the company remains fully committed to its strategy.

“Australians love Decathlon,” he told Business Daily. “We are delivering high quality, smart products at extremely affordable prices. Both our in-store and online sales are performing well. We have many more stores planned across the country.”

Decathlon’s continued commitment to muscling its way into the Australian market is not good news for the Super Retail Group, whose brands include BCF (Boating, Camping and Fishing), which has an estimated 30% of the Australian fishing retail market.

According to the latest accounts, Decathlon Australia has a ‘war chest’ approaching $50 million and its French parent company has provided a $19.2 million loan.

Decathlon also re-entered the US last year after failing to gain a foothold in that market 20 years earlier.

Filed In: Product News