Arrival of international sporting goods retailer signals optimism for Calgary’s economic future – Calgary


A new sporting goods store with a twist opens in Calgary this weekend.

Decathlon, which was launched in France in 1976, opened 63,000 square feet of retail space at the Southcentre Shopping Center, including a 7,000 square foot automated warehouse inhabited primarily by robots.

Customers will be able to watch the 27 robots in action as they process e-commerce orders for Western Canada and respond to in-store inquiries.

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The store will include experiential testing areas, after-sales service workshops – such as bike tune-ups and ski adjustments and waxing – as well as programming for children and adults, all run by coaches and skis. local organizations.

The Retail Council of Canada says the arrival of a company like Decathlon shows optimism for a sustainable retail market.

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“Calgary is now and always has been an important market in Canada, both for national and international expansion, for sure. It’s one of the best markets in Canada, ”said Michael LeBlanc, Senior Retail Advisor.

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“There is a lot of excitement about Calgary. It’s a young market, from a demographic point of view. And, you know, all markets have their ups and downs and sometimes it’s a pretty good time to enter the market – when the market is more fluctuating than fluctuating – and, you know, anchor yourself in a nice place. , get a good long-term contract as a retailer with a favorable rate.

LeBlanc also said that positioning itself as a distribution center in Western Canada is good for Decathlon and Calgary.

“So they’ve built a store that’s just going to be jam-packed, full of products, probably additional products, and use it, interestingly, as a ship to the distribution center for customers in Western Canada, which is interesting.” , some retailers ship from the store, it’s not uncommon, but it’s a special investment with some technology and some automation.

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Calgary Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Deborah Yedlin says there is a commercial dynamism in the city that companies like Decathlon are interested in capitalizing on.

“Despite the challenges, we still have a strong business climate and we’ve seen other things happen lately in terms of businesses coming here and setting up shop, as well as seeing our local businesses grow,” he said. she declared.

“We still have the highest per capita income in the country, so they’re obviously interested in that. They look at the sales per square foot of various Calgary malls. Our recreational activities are very active and so they see this as a market big enough to support another entrant and it’s not a small entrant, they have purchasing power and it’s going to be really interesting to see how they take advantage of it. of this brand in the city. “

There are 10 Decathlon branches in eastern Canada and it is the first store in the west.

The company is looking to expand to Vancouver and Winnipeg.

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