We’ve shopped with you for a few years now, first discovering a Decathlon store in France to buy our first tent many years ago. (It was cheap and lasted well.) You expanded in Europe before coming to the UK. My sister, living in Hungary, became a loyal advocate of your brand first and lent us a Quechua pop up tent for a short break. I was super impressed!
When you opened your store in Oxford we became regular customers; I joined the loyalty card scheme.
Over the years, we have bought a great deal of our outdoor and sports equipment online or from one of the Decathlon stores, spending a couple of hundred pounds and euros each season. There are always some bargains too.
So far I have loved your store for:
1) The helpful, knowledgeable staff.
In Oxford store in the UK, the bicycle specialist actually advised us to buy a different- cheaper- bike than we were looking at. He was spot on with his recommendation!
In the Stockholm store in Sweden, the ski and snowboard specialist took his time to talk me through the different options you have for kids. He ended up offering me a special discount on a package he’d put together for me.
In the Budaörs store in Hungary, the running specialist, an orienteer himself, must’ve spend 30 minutes with us trying to find the ideal trail running shoe for my 10 year old daugther, about to start trail running and orienteering.
… the level of knowledge and patience, consistent across Europe is amazing. (Even in countries where good customer service is not the norm!)
2) Value for money products.
By now the majority of the kids’ sports and outdoor wardrobe is from Decathlon ranges, and a growing number of items in my and Dadonthebrink’s outdoor kit. The clothes and gear have proved to be great value for money: the functionality – such as waterproofness, durability, breathability- are so much better than a lot of comparable brands’ same priced products.
Some of our favourites:
- My sailing jacket, which I’ve had for 2 years now and use day to day, mostly cycling, walking and hiking. It is waterproof and mildly breathable (works well, unless I am breaking a real sweat on a walk or a cycle up hill.)
Triboard 500 women’s oilskin- love this jacket!
I’m just not in the pictures often enough to find one of me wearing it 🙂
- Hugo’s 3-in-1 jacket, a waterproof jacket which has endured so much in the past 2 seasons, it’s unbelievable! The coat is brilliant colour for boys who will get very mucky playing on the school playground, a speckled grey. The inner, lofty coat is orange, zips in to add warmth or zips out to be used on its own in the shoulder seasons, or we can use the outer coat as a raincoat throughout the year.
Hugo wearing his grey Quechua jacket (which sadly seems discontinued,
though similar to the Quechua Hike 500,
which has a fleece inner jacket instead of a lofty padded jacket Hugo has),
as well Quechua Hike 900 trousers
- The kids’ hiking trousers are rain-repellent, wind-proof, thick enough for 3 season wear, (with some thermals in the coldest winter) and very sturdy. The knee patches have allowed the trousers to survive when no other trouser knees has survived this long. These weren’t cheap, as they cost nearly £30 when I bought them, but have been worth every penny.
- The Triboard rash vests are our all-year-round base layer. These versatile and very good value tops have been seen the kids sailing, skiing, swimming and protecting the kids in the tropics of Sri Lanka.
- The innovation of the Tribord full face snorkel has allowed our kids to test out snorkelling with a low learning curve and little sputtering.
Testing the full face snorkel and really loving the experience. There were serious fights over who has a go next.
We really have to buy 1-2 more for our next trip.
…however, the reason I am writing this letter is to commend Decathlon for being a truly European retailer. Your stores have surprised me twice in the last 6 months:
Just before Christmas 2016 we popped in to a Decathlon store in the Netherlands (near the Grandparent’s place) with one of my son’s snowboot, from his favourite pair. I’d bought the boots in January 2016, and by December 2016, after about 4 months of day-to-day wear it wasn’t in the best condition. Hugo loves these snowboots: they are warm enough, easy to slip on and off and have a decent grip on snow and ice. If I’d allow him, he’d wear them year-round.
We asked the store what could be done about the condition.
To my surprise they looked up my loyalty account and found the details of purchase and then proceeded to replace the boot, even though I’d bought it in the UK (and this was in the Netherlands) and I only had one boot of the pair with me. The boot was retailing at a lower price than when I had bought it, so they were even deliberating how to refund the difference. I was gobsmacked at this amazing service and asked them not to bother with those couple of Euros, gratefully accepting the replacement pair.
Decathlon, as I found out, give 2 years warranty on their own brand shoes… and a lot of the stuff they sell is own-brand, specifically developed for different sports and outdoor pursuits.
Angelina turned 10 this week and asked to start orienteering. This week we popped in to Decathalon in Hungary to kit her out with the gear needed. She could choose some other items as her birthday present too. When we came to the cashier, I mentioned I didn’t have my loyalty card with me, but would like our purchases added, so he looked up my account. The cashier put the items through the till and asked if I wanted to use the two £5 loyalty vouchers on my account.
“But they are in pounds! Can I use them against a Hungarian Forint purchase?”, I asked, gobsmacked again.
“Yes you can! They are worth 1830 Ft each.” I did the quick sum and I came to roughly the interbank exchange rate, no silly, rip-off rate, commission, etc!
Decathlon that is an amazing feat! Thank you!
The way you stand behind your brand values and quality assurance is remarkable.
As a customer, I felt exceptionally valued on both of these occasions.
Thank you for being a true European retailer where we can shop with the same confidence anywhere in Europe, as if we were buying at home in the UK! Now I know if we need some gear while on holiday, I just need to figure out whether there is a Decathlon nearby!