A retail outlet built for the pandemic age

French sporting goods retailer Decathlon, which arrived in Singapore some years ago to make sports equipment more accessible to locals, has now further expanded its offerings while heading straight into the heart of town.

Its latest outlet has opened at The Centrepoint, taking over long-time departmental store Metro’s former location in the mall. Expect Decathlon Orchard to continue bringing us exactly what we’ve always loved about the brand and its branches: testing zones to experience the variety of products.

And since the opening does coincide with an ongoing pandemic, Decathlon has also built its brick-and-mortar store to be as contactless as possible.

Checkout points are scattered all across the 3,200sqm store in the form of self-service payment machines like these.

Besides the multitude of technological features such as self-checkout counters boasting contactless payment, you’ll also be able to download the latest Decathlon App which provides a Scan & Pay function that enables you to scan product tags or QR codes to retrieve in-depth product information and reviews. So not only are all details available digitally, shoppers also have the option of placing these items into a virtual basket and have them delivered to their homes upon checkout. It’s as convenient and contactless as it gets.

One of three 3D foot scanners in the world that is currently available to the public.

However, if you still want to get a feel of things by trying on shoes or bouncing basketballs, fret not. Housing more than 5,000 goods across 60 sports developed and manufactured by the group’s label, Decathlon Orchard also offers an exclusive 3D morphological machine situated at the running aisle for an accurate, personalised 3D measurement of shoppers’ shoe sizes and gait so all may find the best shoe fit for their practices. Say goodbye to the trial and error ways of shopping, which in hindsight, can be pretty unhygienic too.

Next, give your hands a good wipe before testing out basketballs at the indoor basketball machine on level two that’s similar to the ones found at arcades.

On the same floor, head over to the virtual reality test zone to have a taste of camping as the VR system simulates an immersive camping experience in Decathlon’s variety of tent options in day or night settings. Some of the tents sold include Decathlon’s Innovation products, such as the Arpenaz Fresh & Black, which guarantees 99 percent darkness inside the tent for privacy and a good night’s rest. And like we’ve said before, since it is not hygienic to have shoppers scurrying around life-sized tents, plonking on a pair of clean VR goggles to experience the shelters is probably the next best thing.

Decathlon Orchard is also the first outlet in Singapore to be equipped with 100 percent digital balisage. Which thanks to this move, no paper has been used throughout the duplex store to display product information.

Finally, apart from the various test zones, Decathlon Orchard has also earmarked an events space within the outlet to run free sports classes for its members. For now, a series of livestream sessions will be conducted within the arena as the store debuts.

So in case you’re in need of sporting goods and would like to test them in a clean and safe environment, head down to check out the sparkling new Decathlon Orchard that’s truly a retail space built for the pandemic age.

Decathlon Orchard is located at #01-14/15/16/17 The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Rd., Singapore 238843; and is open from 10am to 10pm daily.