Any sports junkie will definitely know about Decathlon. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if sports junkies practically live there, except for those rich enough to spend lavishly on sporting goods.
IKEA For Sports Equipment
What exactly is Decathlon? Essentially, it’s an IKEA for sporting goods. You can find pretty much anything there — fencing, surfing, horse riding — you name it, they have it.
The best part? It’s unbelievably cheap, especially compared to the exorbitant prices of Nike and Adidas — its price range surely sits comfortably with Singaporeans.
Price aside, what about quality? We can all buy knock-off Nike or Adidas shoes from Taobao, but do we really want to suffer through the long hours of uncomfortable walking?
Even with Decathlon, are we absolutely certain that we want to buy $15 sports shoes?
What if they are actually Made In China, and lasts only a few runs?
Don’t worry; Decathlon doesn’t lie about their product quality and even invites us to try shoes and bikes across different surfaces.
If we really want to put our hearts at ease, here are Decathlon’s top secrets to selling cheap products.
No Celebrity Endorsements
Firstly, it’s because they don’t pay for celebrity endorsements.
Why does that matter?
When a company gets a celebrity to endorse their products, it just means that — get this — we pay for it. The cost that we pay for the products already cover the cost of the endorsements.
What difference does this make? The price that we pay for is pretty much the retail price. If companies pay for those endorsements, we end up paying extra on top of the retail price.
On top of that? They are really big on saving resources. If we actually pay for our bills, then we know that electricity and water bills give the biggest headaches.
Naturally, the same thing applies to companies. That’s why Decathlon is so determined to maximise energy efficiency and recycle — it saves them even more money so that they can pass the savings on to us.
If you see the technology operating at the Kallang outlet, you’ll find that Decathlon saves significantly on recruiting people as well.
Still not convinced? Well, if Decathlon spends a lot on one thing, it is none other than research and development. The phrase pretty much speaks for itself — that is how the products manage to combine quality with relevance and price.
That’s not all — by taking in customers’ opinions, Decathlon can set the most suitable function, material and even price with a little help. The finished product? Exactly the thing we want in our sports arsenal.
Decathlon Does It All Themselves
In the end, the most considerable factor that comes into play is probably the fact that Decathlon directly manages every step of the process. They have a hand in everything, from design to production and distribution.
What does this mean for us? Basically, there are no added costs from out-sourced companies or middlemen — that’s why the prices can remain so low.
If you’re still doubtful that there is indeed a place to score quality products at a low price, just head down to any Decathlon store to try their goods for yourselves.
Heads up, you won’t be disappointed.
One of my colleagues, who might not be fit, has all his sporting gears from Decathlon and SAF e-mart, and he’s still using them after years.
(Though it could be that he only used them once a year, but you get the drift)