The trend towards health and fitness and the robustness of at least some parts of physical retail is confirmed in new figures from the UK arm of French sports and leisure retailer Decathlon.
In its annual trading update, it reported gross sales were up 10% in the year to December 2019, while online sales rose 18%. Chief financial officer Alberto Bottan acknowledged that the current year has been complicated by COVID-19 but said “we are very confident in our ongoing performances and we aim to achieve profitability by the end of the year”.
He highlighted “a strong acceleration in terms of urban mobility and fitness categories” and added that the retailer has been “increasing our omnichannel capacities through innovative solutions like delivery from store or very fast, local deliveries”.
Decathlon invested in “physical store, e-commerce and warehouse assets” in 2019, “in expectations of growth, both physically and digitally”. That digital