Online sales up nearly 20% at Decathlon UK
Written by Hannah McGrath
Online sales at Decathlon UK jumped by 19.6 per cent as the French sports retailer announced plans to extend its UK expansion to 50 stores by 2021.
Turnover at the UK division of the French sports giant rose 14.4 per cent last year, according to a trading statement which also outline plans for six new stores across the UK.
Increased investment in omnichannel and the company’s store footprint mean it reported a £10.8 million loss before tax for 2018, in line with expectations.
The company anticipates that the investment in new store openings will create 200 jobs.
The company, founded in France in 1976, opened its first UK store in 1999 and currently operates across 54 countries with sales of €11.3 billion.
In 2018, the company opened seven new UK stores and increased its head count by an additional 248 staff members, bringing it to a total of 1606, all of whom have the opportunity to become co-owners in the business under its shareholder scheme.
The company said that rising online sales had driven the development of its omnichannel retail offering, which has led to an overall investment of £34 million in digital, stores operations, staff training and a new UK warehouse to service its growing presence.
So far in 2019, the company has seen 15.9 per cent total growth, including 27.1 per cent growth in online turnover.
Alberto Bottan, chief financial officer at Decathlon UK said: “While 2018 was a challenging year for the retail sector for a variety of reasons, 2019’s year-on-year performance has been very encouraging.
“We are also seeing our growth as a nation-wide brand in the UK, with positive online performance mirrored by growth in those communities where we are becoming more established, especially in Scotland,” he added.
“This positive trading has encouraged further investment in the UK, not only in new stores, but also in creating a true omni-channel, seamless service between our store and online experiences.”