Decathlon opened their first sporting goods retail store in Lille, France in 1976. Forty years later, the company has more than 1,400 stores in 48 countries. Decathlon is set apart from other sports retailers by designing and manufacturing their own brands for each individual sport.
Decathlon entered the US market with their first store in San Francisco, Cal., intended as a space to introduce the brand and create a dialogue between Decathlon designers, customers and athletes. Within a few months, a second US store opened in Emeryville, Cal., and is also an experiential center, with places to test products prior to making purchases. With new technology, including RFID checkout and cashless systems, the Emeryville store expands on the San Francisco store’s concept of making the shopping experience seamless and fun.
The San Francisco store is 8,300-square-feet with a glass store front. The design necessitated the display technology be close to the entryway and attract customers’ attention immediately upon entering. Additionally, since this store is the first in the US, the company needed it to serve as a landmark branding and marketing tool.
At 47,000 square-foot, the Emeryville store is almost six times the size of Decathlon’s San Francisco location. The significant size required that the display technology needed to be large and mounted in a way so that customers would be engaged regardless of their location in the store.
Both retail facilities provide in-store demonstrations to ensure customers get the most out of their purchases and enjoy an enhanced experience. To facilitate this, the company wanted cutting-edge display technology to engage customers. The displays also needed to out-perform ambient light levels and be visible from distances up to 25 feet.
Decathlon retained New York-based ComQi, a global leader that provides cloud-based shopper engagement technology, to design a system that would meet both locations’ physical requirements. ComQi knew that LED displays would be the perfect solution to show engaging, seamless, high-resolution video to reinforce the Decathlon brand.
innovative product line,
The company turned to California-based Optec Displays, Inc., to leverage their experience working in retail environments, including digital display merchandising integration. Optec’s knowledge of retail operations and experiential design made them an ideal display partner.
As a digital display solutions provider, Optec Displays designs, engineers, manufactures LED displays to fulfill end-users’ many different installations. For the two Decathlon stores, Optec proposed Opt-Slim 2.6mm to provide customers with an entry experience that is bright enough to be seen across the street through the glass store front in San Francisco as well as anywhere within the large Emeryville store.
As customers walk into the San Francisco store, they immediately see the 4’9” x 8’2” LED display mounted on the wall with engaging videos of people wearing and using Decathlon products in a variety of sport activities. The high pixel density and definition ensures that the display can be viewed even with bright sunlight shining through the glass store front. To drive the Decathlon brand, the display remains on and visible 24/7.
Because the Emeryville store is so large, three Opt-Slim displays measuring 3’ – 3-5/16” x 11’ – 5-9/16” hang from the ceiling. Two were installed back-to-back in the main aisle and can be viewed from the front entrance 50 feet away. A third display is hung in another large aisle and can be seen from multiple areas in the store. Similar to the San Francisco store, videos showing Decathlon products in action, ranging from cycling, running, and snowboarding, to fishing, basketball and golf, reinforce the company’s mission of offering sports lovers of all levels affordable, quality gear for almost every sport.
While the displays are installed in different configurations – mounted on a wall and hung from the ceiling – they utilize the same standard modular product, which makes it easier for future service and support, and is more economical. Additionally, the Opt-Slim displays provide smooth video playback and seamless integration with ComQi’s digital signage system.
Entering the US market, Decathlon knows the importance of ensuring that customers’ shopping experiences are engaging, unique and positive. As a marketing-savvy company, Decathlon realizes customers are drawn to the right in-store technology, like LED displays.
These displays have exceeded Decathlon’s expectations and continue to help increase their brand awareness among US consumers.