Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic and temporary store closures, Decathlon UK has managed to weather the storm with only a slight decrease in sales for 2020. The company’s revenue fell by just 4.5% to £225.7 million, showing its resilience in the face of challenging circumstances. This is in stark contrast to the previous year, where Decathlon UK saw a 10.3% increase in sales.

One of the key factors that helped Decathlon UK mitigate the impact of the pandemic was its significant surge in online turnover. Online sales increased by a whopping 122.4%, although the company did not disclose the specific percentage that online sales represented overall.

Furthermore, Decathlon UK witnessed a slight increase in its gross margin ratio for 2020. This marks the second consecutive year of growth in this area. The company attributes this increase to favorable foreign exchange hedging and its efforts to address sales price discrepancies. Decathlon UK has also placed a strong emphasis on improving its adaptability and responsiveness to local needs, further contributing to its success.

In terms of investment, Decathlon UK opened a new store in Aberdeen, covering an area of 1,700 sq m, to meet the growing demand in Scotland. The cost of this expansion was £1.2 million. Additionally, the company invested £416,000 in refurbishing its 5,000 sq m store in Stockport. These investments aim to enhance Decathlon UK’s presence and brand image in Manchester. On a global scale, Decathlon invested £3.6 million in opening new stores and warehouses, which is a reduction from the previous year’s investment of £4.3 million.

Despite a relatively small decline in sales, Decathlon UK reported an overall loss of £5 million before tax for the year. However, this loss aligns with expectations and is narrower than the £7.5 million loss reported the year before. Decathlon UK remains optimistic about the potential of the UK market and considers it strategically important for the entire group. With the continued growth of online sales in the country, the company is committed to investing in technology and warehousing to meet customer demand.

The performance of Decathlon UK in 2020 showcases its ability to overcome challenges and adapt to changing market conditions. The company’s focus on online sales, improvement of gross margin ratios, and targeted investments in new stores and refurbishments demonstrate its commitment to long-term growth in the UK. Decathlon’s positive outlook for the UK market sets the stage for its future success in the country.

Useful links:
1. Decathlon UK Website
2. Decathlon UK Sales Article