Decathlon SG Lab creates experience zones to disrupt ‘conventional’ retail

Decathlon has launched its newest store called the Decathlon Singapore Lab. This lab aims to integrate sports into one’s lifestyle through providing experience zones to test all the products in-store, free sports sessions at its free-to-play areas. The areas include a playground with football pitch, a basketball court and a multisport zone.

The retailer also looks to enhance users’ purchase experience through technology. The lab comes with connected fitting rooms, mobile payment solutions and a conveyor belt that manages online orders in the store. Through this, Decathlon will be able to deliver a range of products in a matter of hours in Singapore. Alternatively, users are also able to order on the online site and collect their products in their preferred store within two hours for free.

In a statement to Marketing, a Decathlon spokesperson said that the concept behind the store is to marry digital and omni-channel with physical and experiential retail stores. In addition, he added that it was to push the boundaries of these two concepts. The retailer aims to build long term sustainable relationships with its users by automating repetitive process to enhance productivity. The spokesperson said that the brand wants the new store to “disrupt the conventional retail scene”.

“Implementing digital innovation is the way to go. It is the best way to enhance shopping experience for users. It is important to note that the innovations are not a direct replacement of humans. It is, in fact, allowing human-to-human interaction which is something that we are deprived of in this world of self-service machines and automated processes,” the spokesperson added.

In addition, Decathlon has also developed an inventory robotic solution which looks to improve the company’s efficiency and productivity. Decathlon has deployed an inventory robot to ensure the optimal accuracy of stock levels in the lab.

Creating a community environment

Partnering with Sport Singapore, Decathlon Singapore Lab will host an Active Health Lab for users to undergo a free health assessment to find out more about their current health and fitness levels. Active Health experts will also be present to provide advice and to share healthy lifestyle tips. There will also be a variety of fitness and sports programmes over the week.

Decathlon will also engage with the local communities by holding sports clinics, fitness programs and other sports events in store and at free-to-play areas. The retailer also looks to partner with ActiveSG Academies and Clubs to conduct sport-related events such as workshops, competitions and sports festivals.

Nathaniel Gregory, Decathlon Singapore Lab store leader said that Decathlon Singapore Lab has three elements to build a sport community mindset. He said that the journey will be more experiential for shoppers as the Lab will allow the full range of products to be tested in the large test zones present in the store.

“Secondly, the free-to-play outdoor area will be a place to use the products for sports. Decathlon Singapore Lab has a football pitch, a basketball court and a multi-sport zones to engage any sport lover with free sports sessions. Lastly, we will have a community corner, essential for sports users to meet, share discuss about their sports practices in the community area. It will be a convivial corner in the lab to hang out after sports. With these three elements, Decathlon Singapore Lab aims to be a hub where sports lovers can connect, share and practice sport with the aim to integrate sports as a lifestyle,” he added.

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