Decathlon Expands Canadian Footprint with 1st BC Store: More Nationwide Openings Planned [Interview]


Share post:

Global sporting retailer Decathlon has opened a pop-up location at Metropolis at Metrotown – its first store of more to come in British Columbia and other parts of Canada.

Stéphane Marchioni, Vice President of Operations & Real Estate Development for Decathlon Canada, said the pop-up will turn into a permanent location in a bigger store next year.

“We have already defined the plan for next year and the year after because as you can imagine we start negotiations with malls two years before the opening of stores,” he said. 

Decathlon Pop-up Metropolis at Metrotown (Image: Decathlon Canada)

“Next year we plan to open Vancouver Metrotown, the big one, for the first of May and the second one will be Chicoutimi in Quebec which is a smaller city in Quebec because we have already addressed the big cities in Quebec. We have stores in Montreal, we have in Quebec (City). 

“In 2025, we will open in Trois Rivieres, the city between Quebec and Montreal, and we will open Sherbrooke also.” And in Edmonton.

Marchioni said there is more room for stores in the country.

“There are provinces we still do not address like Manitoba, Saskatchewan. Winnipeg is probably on the run map for the coming years. Our plan is also to open more stores in Vancouver because we probably need more than three stores as a minimum to be able to correctly address all the Vancouver market,” he said.

“But today we still don’t have any concrete plans but that’s in the run map.”

Decathlon at Metropolis at Metrotown (Image: Geetanjali Sharma)
Decathlon in CF Market Mall (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)

Currently, the brand operates 19 locations in Canada. Openings this fall have included CF Market Mall in Calgary and Scarborough Town Centre. 

The brand has six stores in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and Marchioni said there is still room for one or two more stores there.

Marie-Lou Blais, Leader communication / Communications leader for Decathlon Canada, said the brand has a strategy to test markets and then adapt to those markets with their bigger stores.

“This is the first store we have in BC. It’s our first opening in the province,” she said. “Of course, we wanted to be agile and be able to react quickly to the market and adapt to what Canadians are looking for in that region. There might be some adapting to do compared to people in the (Greater Toronto Area) with consumer habits and so on. That’s why we wanted to open this fall with a plan of opening a big store next  year.”

Decathlon Canada is represented by real estate advisory firm Oberfeld Snowcap.

Decathlon Metropolis at Metrotown (Image: Decathlon Canada)

Marchioni said the pop-up strategy was also used in the opening of the Scarborough store as a pop-up was in place 12 months before the opening of the permanent store. The strategy was used as well in the Bramalea Town Centre and in Dartmouth.

“It’s something I always negotiate with the landlord. Can we open a pop-up together in a small location in their mall before opening the big store so that we can first learn the market, understand the customer and also develop the recruitment,” he said. 

The Metrotown pop-up store is about 10,000 square feet with the permanent store to be more than 35,000 square feet.

Decathlon has more than 1,700 stores in more than 70 countries.

“Canadians have a very active lifestyle from the get-go,” said Blais. “The four seasons here are really a good playground to be able to enjoy nature, the outdoors, no matter the province. There’s always that culture of movement and being active. That’s a very good playground for Decathlon to succeed in this.

“The access to sports is also something quite expensive in Canada and we feel we can add value to Canadians by opening stores where they are and offering Decathlon products which are high quality products at a fair price.”

Recently, Decathlon was named one of the top 5 Brands of the year by Strategy. It was also a Platinum winner in the Sporting Goods category for CommunityVotes Halifax 2023.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter


* indicates required

Related articles

Enhancing Retail Environments: A Contemporary Feng Shui Consultant’s Insights on Design, Colour, and Visitor Experience [Podcast]

Craig and Mark Ainley discuss the profound impact of Feng Shui and flow on retail spaces. Mark highlights how subtle cues, from sharp angles to vibrant colours, influence consumer behaviour, emphasizing the importance of creating an authentic and inviting retail atmosphere.

Top Shopping Centres in Canada Evolving Experiential Elements to Grow Foot Traffic and Tenant Revenue [Interview]

JLL’s Senior Marketing Director, Property Management, discusses how creating unique experiences tailored to local markets helps drive overall asset value through increased footfall and productivity.

Mastermind Toys Acquired by Joe Mimran’s Unity Acquisitions, 18 Stores to Close 

Unity will acquire the majority of Mastermind Toys store locations following a bankruptcy filing, with a significant number of employees continuing with the business.

Active Gaming Facility ‘Activate’ Plans Rapid Cross-Canada Expansion with New Leases [Interview]

The company, known for its unique competitive socializing concept, aims to open multiple locations in Canada while also planning a global expansion.

Alo Yoga Entering Quebec Market Amid Ongoing Canadian Store Expansion

The US-based athleisure brand, similar to Lululemon, has launched a multi-store-per-city strategy in Canada as it enters the Belle Provence. 

From ‘Greedflation’ to Government Scrutiny: A Rollercoaster Year for Canada’s Grocery Industry [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois discusses how over the past year the Canadian grocery industry has faced unprecedented political scrutiny and intervention, while also saying there's potential for a re-emergence of unethical schemes.

West Edmonton Mall Continues to Expand Luxury Retail with Addition of Moncler; Tiffany Marks 10 Years

Italian luxury brand Moncler is the latest to join the massive shopping centre with retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Gucci. The mall’s first luxury store, Tiffany & Co. is also marking 10 years. 

Canadian Consumers to Prioritize Brick-and-Mortar Retail into December [Report/Interview]

Electronics are among the top gifts, with moderate growth in the restaurant and grocery sectors expected while also noting a controlled promotional approach due to slowing inflation.

Salesforce’s Rob Garf Discusses Canadian Retailers’ Strategies Amidst Q3 E-commerce Slowdown [Report/Interview]

Garf discusses a report showing a 9% decline in Canadian e-commerce growth, indicating a consumer expectation for discounts in the upcoming months. He discusses a consumer shift and how retailers can address it.

Early Signs Point to a Strong Holiday Shopping Season in Canada Despite Economic Challenges

Reports indicate that last Saturday and Sunday saw the biggest surge in consumer spending so far, with predictions made as we head into December.

Specsavers Set to Reach 100 Canadian Locations in Early 2024, Expanding into New Markets [Interviews]

The eyewear retailer, which entered Canada in 2021, is rapidly expanding and looking to gain market share from established players.

Burton Snowboards Transforms Toronto Flagship for [ak] Collection as Brand Looks to Expand [Interview/Photos]

The high-performance AK collection is a new focus, with Burton planning to grow its retail presence in Canada with more stores in key markets.