By KATE TAN
Victoria’s sports lovers will have a new place to shop for cheap sports gear when the French sports retail giant Decathlon opens its first Victorian store in Box Hill this November.
Decathlon Australia CEO Olivier Robinet, who announced the store’s opening today, said it would sell high quality products at the lowest price possible.
“The aim of Decathlon is to make sports accessible to more Aussies,” he said.
He said $200 could buy a sporting outfit from head to toe, including a T-shirt, shorts, shoes and more.
“We have research and development facilities all over France to develop the latest innovative designs. Our Australian customers are now able to experience all the amazing innovative new products that we have designed,” he said.
There will be playgrounds and sporting fields outside the building for sports such as soccer and basketball, which will also be offered to local sporting clubs to showcase their sports.
“We want people to play and test everything inside and outside,” Mr Robinet said.
The first store is a 3800 sq m warehouse in 249 Middleborough Rd, Box Hill South, to showcase Decathlon’s 7000 different products in 70 sports categories. They aimed to give customers an Ikea-like trying and buying experience.
Mr Robinet hoped Decathlon could open five stores in Victoria in the next two years, which will create up to 500 job opportunities. Mr Robinet said they were recruiting people to join the team.
“We need sports leaders to manage the store and the website, and local ambassadors to promote our brand to the community,” he said.
Victorian Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business Philip Dalidakis said he was excited that Victoria could attract one of the biggest retailers in the world.
“Decathlon is going to make some of the retailing experiences so much accessible, so much more affordable. It is an experience Victoria will grow to love over time,” he said.
Decathlon has 1200 stores in 30 countries and is one of the world’s biggest sporting goods retailers. It opened its first Australian store in Tempe, New South Wales, in December last year.