Is Decathlon the Aldi of Australia's sporting goods market?

THE Rebel sports retailing chain will open more stores where sport collides with theatre and technology as the $3.5 billion sporting goods sector in Australia faces the biggest shake-up in decades.

Rebel and its stablemate sporting goods chain Amart are facing one of the biggest competitive threats for years, with the imminent arrival of French category killer Decathlon.

Decathlon, the world's largest sporting goods retailer, runs 1031 stores in Europe and Asia and in the next few days will go live with an online store targeted at Australian customers, before rolling out up to 35 warehouse-style superstore outlets over the next decade.

Decathlon Australia chief financial officer Sylvain Baudens told Fairfax Media earlier this month the company had already identified six locations for physical stores in Sydney and Melbourne.

Decathlon will steer clear of smaller format stores in shopping centres and will position itself in big sites more like a Bunnings or Ikea of sporting goods.

Brisbane Times