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Declining purchasing power, bad weather and store closures hit Decathlon UK

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Sports and outdoor goods retailer Decathlon has reported a 5% decline in its UK turnover, as customers continue to face the cost-of-living crisis with unpredictable weather hitting seasonal sports.

The retailer has shuttered six “underperforming” stores over the past two years, impacting turnover by 2.5%.

Franck Laden, chief financial officer of Decathlon UK, explained: “Looking back at 2023, marked by significant challenges for the UK’s retail sector, particularly within key segments of the sports equipment industry, it’s clear that multiple factors influenced our revenue growth negatively. These include declining purchasing power, adverse weather conditions during peak seasons, and our strategic store closures.”

Decathlon has implemented a £10mn transformation strategy for its UK operations. This includes a new website, store modernisation, automating warehouses, and advancing circular business models such as the “buy back” programme and rental propositions.

Decathlon also expanded its wholesale business through collaborations with major partners like Next, Argos, eBay, Asda, Debenhams, and Tesco.

Laded added: “Our commitment to enhancing customer experience remains unwavering. Significant investments have been made to improve every touchpoint, whether online or offline, while modernising our operational processes for increased efficiency.

“Decathlon UK is now more ready than ever to engage with our customers and fulfil our mission of ‘Moving People Through the Wonders of Sport’.”

Read more about how Decathlon will weather the shift in consumer behaviour, and will maintain its very strong market presence, in an exclusive company profile in the RetailX Global Sports Goods 2024 Report.

Decathlon is one of 16 retailers profiled in this report. It also looks at Gymshark, Nike, Sports Direct and UEFA.

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