Decathlon Continues Aggressive Expansion in Canada with Upcoming Store Openings Coast-to-Coast [Interview]


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Global sporting retailer Decathlon is on an aggressive path of expanding the brand in Canada with upcoming store openings expected in Quebec, Calgary, Ontario and British Columbia.

Emily Manuel, Project Manager of Public Relations and Partnerships with Decathlon, said the retailer plans to open a store in Vancouver this year “which is a huge piece of news because we will finally be coast to coast.”

“We’re really excited about that and we have a couple of locations opening in Quebec. First will probably be Marché Central and then the next after that will probably be (CF Fairview) Pointe Claire and we also have an opening coming in Calgary (at CF Market Mall) and then another one in Toronto (Scarborough Town Centre),” she said. “All of these will be this year.”

The Vancouver location has not been confirmed yet.

Future Decathlon at Scarborough Town Centre (Image: Decathlon Canada)

Currently there are 15 stores in Canada.

“First in Vancouver we’ll have a pop-up store and then probably in 2024 we’ll have a full size store. The next store opening will be Marché Central. That will be the next flagship store that we’ll have opening,” said Manuel. 

She said the retailer’s flagship stores are typically between 35,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet. There’s a few concept style stores that are smaller like in Toronto at its Union Station location. 

Manuel said the company does have plans to continue its expansion in Canada. In 2024, a store in Chicoutimi, Quebec is expected to open and the retailer is looking to open about four stores a year.

“Especially with the time in the market there’s definitely an economic shift in terms of how we purchase products and everything along those lines. We’re definitely seeing customers and people being very conscious about how they spend their money and we feel that with our product offering and being able to control everything within the supply chain, it really allows us to adjust our prices to speak to that kind of market and speak to the needs of where we are in the economy right now,” she said.

“We’re definitely seeing customers react positively to the prices we have in store and for our products and the quality is really matching that as well.”

Image: Decathlon Canada
Image: Decathlon Canada

Recently, Decathlon launched its “Play It Smart” campaign in Canada. The campaign aims to reinforce Decathlon’s commitment to offering active lifestyle products that are accessible to all, particularly during these challenging economic times. Decathlon’s new brand messaging highlights how their products are accessible for all while being cost conscious without compromising on quality.

“At Decathlon, our mission is to make sports accessible to as many people as possible, even in difficult economic times,” said Philippe Gariépy, Brand Marketing Manager at Decathlon Canada. “Sport brings so much to the physical and mental well-being, so we believe that it should never have to be sacrificed while the cost of living gets excessively high. That’s why we produce our own products in order to offer quality products at the right price and plan to continue innovating in this sense.”

Decathlon first appeared in Canada in 2018. Brokerage Oberfeld Snowcap is handling lease negotiations in Canada

The ‘Play it Smart’ campaign through traditional (billboards, radio etc.,), digital and in-store media initiatives is aimed to help solidify the retailer’s position in the Canadian market. 

“We just want to show that even in these economic times, it’s important to remain active, put your active lifestyle first, if you will,” said Manuel. “And Decathlon is there to support you in those needs and that journey whether you’re starting or you’re working towards being an expert in your sport or activity. We really just want to show Canadians that we’re there to support them in that journey.”

Decathlon has more than 1,700 stores in more than 60 countries.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.


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