Decathlon UK 2020 sales fell slightly while online surged
French sports retail giant Decathlon has filed its UK accounts for 2020 and it's no surprise that revenue during the year fell. But it didn't fall as much as might have been expected given the temporary store closures caused by the pandemic.
In fact, revenue during the year dropped by only 4.5% to £225.7 million and given that it had risen by 10.3% in the previous pre-pandemic year, it’s clear that the company is relatively buoyant.
It also said that online turnover was up by as much as 122.4% in the UK business, although it didn't say how big a percentage online sales represented overall.
The gross margin ratio in 2020 increased slightly compared to 2019, which was the second year in a row that it had risen. That was due to favourable foreign exchange hedging and as a consequence of its actions taken to improve sales price discrepancies. It also said it has improved its ability to be more adaptable and better able to deal with local needs.
During 2020 the company invested £1.2 million in the opening of its new 1,700 sq m store in Aberdeen to fulfil the demand that it's seeing in Scotland and it also invested £416,000 in the refurbishment of its 5,000 sq m store in Stockport to further improve its presence and image in Manchester.
That came as the company invested £3.6 million globally in opening costs and assets for its stores and warehouses. That was reduced from £4.3 million in 2019, but given the circumstances of last year, that's unsurprising.
And of course, with the boom in online sales in the UK specifically, it continued to invest heavily in its technology and warehousing there.
But despite the relatively small drop in sales, Decathlon UK made an overall loss for the year ear of £5 million before tax, which was in line with expectations. That was narrower than the £7.5 million loss of the previous year. The company continues to see the UK market as having huge potential and it’s considered strategically important by the group as a whole.
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