Decathlon is the world’s largest outdoor and sporting goods retailer, with over 1500 stores over 3 continents. They’re essentially the Dick’s Sporting Goods of Europe (plus Asia and Australia) – a megashop for all things outside, whether that’s rafting, biking or basketball. But until last year, they didn’t have a foot in the US – something they began to remedy when they launched a flagship store in San Francisco in their Lab Store model.

The idea was to get an idea of how the US sports market operated before launching and expanding into the rest of the country. Research must be going pretty well, because they just opened a brand-new, full-size store in California – their first for the US.

Brand-New Full Size Store, New Shopping Experience

Decathlon Store Interior
Credit: Decathlon

Located in across the Bay from their San Francisco Lab Store, the new location measures over 47,000 square feet and brings the value-based discount retail model Decathlon is known for – offering all the best brands (both name brand and lesser-known and gear for over 100 different sports – from golfing to backpacking to running. They are also using it to introduce a new model for running the store’s retail operations: everything is run off iPhones, from accepting payments to inventory.

They’re doing this both to experiment with the tech, but also to make the physical retail experience more integrated and effective and offer a smoother customer shopping experience. For example, they will monitor reviews and feedback from customers for every product on the website and remove anything with less than a 3-star rating.

Affordable, Value-Priced Outdoor Gear – With A Reputation

Credit: Decathlon

The best part? How much great gear is gonna be available for cheap. Decathlon is essentially the Costco for sporting goods and outdoor gear; you can get some incredible deals, like this 800 Down midlayer for $64.99 – a fraction of what the same jacket would cost from a name brand maker. Great for both beginners on a budget who don’t want to drop hundreds on new gear, and for seasoned weekend warriors who chew through their gear and like to backups.

So maybe give them a shot if you’re local or order online if you’re not. Their gear is well-known as promising for the price, and they have a rep for customer service, too.