Unless you’re a couch potato (like me) who doesn’t keep up with sports-related news, odds are, you’ve heard of Decathlon. One of the world’s largest sporting goods retailers has recently opened a flagship store in Singapore.
What is Decathlon?
It was founded by Michel Leclercq back in 1976. Now, 40 years later, it has expanded to countries like Germany, Italy, and Southeast Asia. Currently, there are 850 stores in 22 countries.
Sports fanatics will know that Queensway Shopping Centre is widely dubbed as ‘Singapore’s Sports Mall’. But now that we have this French retailer on our sunny shores, does this mean competition will soon abrupt between both parties?
You bet! Here are five reasons why we think Decathlon will squash Queensway Shopping Centre.
1. It has over 95,000 products
First things first, there are over 20 sporting goods categories in Decathlon. Just this fact alone makes you want to hop on a bus and travel to Chai Chee.
Decathlon is setting itself apart from its competitors, and it’s doing one heck of a job. You can easily find many interesting (and bizarre) items, like the S$64.90 TRIBORD Easybreathe Mask, and the S$8.90 DOMYOS Foam Yoga Brick.
Apparently, this helps with balancing and posture.
The environment at Decathlon is positive, relaxed and kid-friendly. I even spotted one young boy walking barefoot — he was that comfortable!
We told you Decathlon has everything sports related under the sun. Fancy a mini basketball set?
The S$29.90 Artengo Rollnet 610 Set is a must-have for all table tennis fanatics. Easy to set up, you no longer have to roll the net back or use those funny screws.
Amazingly, they have a badminton version.
And yes, you can find tents in Decathlon too. This model right here is the QUECHA 2 Seconds XL III Illumin Fresh Pop Up Tent. It sets you back at S$431.90. Now you can roast marshmallow and sing campfire songs (maybe at Coney Island?).
Yep, Decathlon sells horse riding equipment too. (Pretty sure you can’t find that at Queensway)
These INESIS golf umbrellas cost between S$10.90 to $19.90.
Have a turntable match at home for just $39.90.
This TRIBORD 3-Man Itiwit Inflatable Kayak is a beauty.
I was chuffed to bits when I found these chaptehs (S$1) near the cashier counters. More often than not, it’s stationery stores that sell these traditional games. 10 points to Decathlon!
Besides selling a wide variety of products (including surf boards too), the mega-store also has a bicycle repair workshop where customers can get their two-wheeler of any brand repaired (not free though).
2. It’s littered with testing zones
Because Singaporeans have itchy fingers. We want to try everything. Anyway, what’s a sports shop if we can’t try what we want to buy?
Decathlon truly understands us. Take this blue-labelled testing zone, for instance. You can do a test run of a skateboard or scooter.
You can also sweat it off on the various exercise machines!
You can’t do this in Queensway Shopping Centre. Maybe you can, but you’ll get a dirty look from the store owners in return. In Decathlon, it’s a different story altogether.
This is the biggest testing zone at Decathlon. These kids were having butt-loads of fun with the balls and turnball pole.
Say whaaat?! You can also hop on a bike and ride around the premise. Check out the price list of the bikes here.
At one point, I overheard a conversation between a girl and her younger sister. “I hold your bike. That’s how you learn!”
Suffice to say, there’s no rush at Decathlon.
But the best part is — hands down — the lifetime warranty on their bikes.
3. The products are 20%-40% cheaper
Decathlon prides themselves in their quality and pocket-friendly products. According to The Straits Times, all products are designed by their very own research and development teams all over France.
I don’t wear a watch, but damn, this baby right here changed my mind.
This is the first time I’ve seen a sunglass that costs less than S$5. (Daiso not counted)
It’s hard to pick just one. The quality of these bags is outstanding. And only at $4.90.
You can’t find a price like this in a pasar malam. That’s cheaper than a plate of chicken rice.
No kidding, you can also find ballet costumes at an inexpensive price. The DOMYOS Delia Girl’s Leotard on the display set costs just S$18.90.
Noticed the blue sticker near the giant yellow price tag? There’s a two-year guarantee for every single product at Decathlon. Queensway Shopping Centre can’t top that.
And it keeps getting better.
Just when you think the price couldn’t get any lower comes this.
Decathlon really has everything.
You get what you pay for. Maybe this sentiment rings true at Queensway Shopping Centre.
But at Decathlon, you get more than what you pay for. Their products, while sold at a cheap price, are made of superior quality.
4. It also has an online store
With attractive perks such as free delivery above S$80, some will prefer to pop a virtual visit to the website than head down to the brick and mortar store.
Shoppers who buy online have the option to collect their purchases at the Collection Point. It’s located right next to the entrance, you can’t miss it.
Tip: Whether you’re collecting or buying from the store itself, be sure to bring along a bag. Decathlon does not provide plastic bags. Reusable shopping bags are $1 for one. Considering the size of it, it’s still worth it.
5. Attentive and friendly staff
You’d think that a large store like that will face a severe shortage of employees, but that wasn’t the case at all.
They’re all over the place. With their striking tags and top, it’s easy to locate them.
What we love is that each staff has a white card displayed. The white card lists 2 sports the staff plays. Expert opinion right there for you while you make a purchase decision.
So there you have it. I’m now a new Decathlon fan. If you still think it’s overhyped, you couldn’t be more wrong. Consider visiting the store and bask in the gloriousness yourself, and you’ll see what the fuss is all about.
Update (9 May 2016): Decathlon will be opening another store at City Square Mall on 21 May 2016. Though it’s their first in-mall store, it is not small! Look forward to 21,500 sq ft of pure sports shopping!
(Header image credit: Decathlon Singapore)
Also read: 8 Chillout Spots In The East For A Relaxing Night Out With Friends!