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‘Making Sports Accessible’ as Decathlon opens first store in capital

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
Guillaume Cutuli shows Decathlon store at Aeon Mall 2 in Sen Sok. KT/Srey Kumneth

French sports equipment and apparel company, Decathlon, wants to make sportswear more accessible in the Kingdom of Wonder. As one of the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, Decathlon is taking another step to realising its tagline, “Making Sports Accessible to the Many” when it officially opens its first Cambodian store in Phnom Penh tomorrow, August 11.

Founded in France in 1976, the retail giant currently has more than 1,300 stores and operates in over 42 countries. Decathlon’s Sen Sok branch in Aeon Mall 2 marks the company’s 17th store in Southeast Asia, and the first of many more stores the company plans to roll out in Cambodia.

Over the next five years, Decathlon plans to expand in Phnom Penh and then in the other cities of the country such as Siem Reap. “We have been working in Cambodia for seven years now, mainly to manage the production of our sport equipment with local industrial partners,” said Guillaume Cutuli, CEO of Decathlon Cambodia. He continued, “Cambodians are sportsmen and women, and as the country’s economy has gotten more robust and consumers are becoming more wellness-conscious, it is the right time to invest in retail.”

Indeed, since 2011, Decathlon Cambodia has increased its production in Cambodia with partner suppliers investing with local teams to manage the quality of their production as well as to guarantee the respect of their Code of Conduct and the working conditions on their different partner sites.

“We want Decathlon to become one of the most loved brands in Cambodia. Our target is to propose a very large range of sport products with an unbeatable value-price ratio to the Cambodian sportsmen and women.” Mr Cutuli said.

After seven years of focusing on production in the country, the company has decided to invest in opening a store. A core part of Decathlon’s operations is an investment in in-house, sport-focused products. Each of the company’s 60 internal brands represents a different sport, with a dedicated team that is responsible for the research, design, development, and testing of the products.

Mr Cutuli continued, “Our physical stores are part of our omni-channel strategy to help us interact and serve better the sport users. As consumer shopping behaviours and expectations are changing, we want to offer a seamless user experience, both in-store and online.”

The company recruits local underprivileged youth who have the opportunity to become Decathlon employees after undergoing a series of training.

Heads of Decathlon Cambodia hold a press conference at Aeon Mall 2. KT/Srey Kumneth

The 2,500-square-meter store occupies the ground floor of Aeon Mall 2 in Sen Sok and stocks goods for 60 different types of sports such as football, fitness, badminton, swimming, hiking, cycling, etc., for all ages.

Mr Cutuli added, “Ultimately, the store was designed to enhance customers’ brand experience, inviting them in to touch, feel and see the quality of our products, the latest innovations, while discovering new sports.”

Also, this store will provide products for emerging sport in Cambodia like horse riding, kayaking or tennis. All Decathlon stores in Cambodia will contain a large playground spanning more than 300 square meters, which will be free and accessible to all customers.

Sports activities will also be organised onsite to promote healthy living and fitness for members. The customers can register as members of Decathlon communities and will receive exclusive advantages such as the possibility to return the product bought during 365 days if needed, the free participation to sport events or product tests and the possibility to order their products online and get it booked for them in store or delivered at home.

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