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Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
Dec 18, 2018
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Decathlon to open first physical store in Japan in 2019

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
Dec 18, 2018

After recently entering market number 50, Kenya, French sport retailer Decathlon is already busy preparing further openings. In 2019, it will open its first brick-and-mortar store in Japan.


The retail team of Decathlon Lab in Osaka, opened last year as a trial run - Decathlon/Japon


Decathlon went about its entry on the Japanese market with patience. First it went live with an e-tail site in 2015, then it opened a small test store in Osaka called Decathlon Lab, more like a showroom, last year. Decathlon Lab is a small-sized shop where customers can try out and order a selection of products.

Next spring, Decathlon will amp up its presence by opening a large-scale store inside the Hankyu Nishinomiya Gardens shopping mall, in the city of Nishinomiya, between Kobe and Osaka. The store will showcase the sport retailer’s own brands, like Domyos, Quechua and Kalenji, and feature practice areas where the products can be tested. Eric Guinard is the manager in charge of Decathlon’s deployment in Japan.

The sport apparel and equipment market is sizeable in Japan. According to BPI France, Japan is the world’s second largest sport market after the USA, a market that was worth €11.06 billion in revenue in 2017. Decathlon is keen to grab a slice of this pie, though it will have to contend with several competitors, notably Victoria.

In 2017, the French sport retailer owned by the Mulliez family generated a revenue of €11 billion (+11%), and besides Kenya, this year it also landed in Egypt, Senegal, Congo, Sri Lanka, Lithuania, Greece and Canada.

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