Why Decathlon’s New 47,000-Square-Foot Store Has No Cash Registers

Madeleine Streets

Following the launch of its first U.S. “Lab Store” in 2018, sporting goods retailer Decathlon has opened a 47,000-square-foot experiential store in Emeryville, Calif.

Despite being six times the size of its previous location, the new superstore will have no fixed registers or checkout lines anywhere inside, and it will be entirely cashless. Instead, customers will complete purchases using NewStore’s Mobile Checkout Station.

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Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting goods chain, has chosen to remove traditional point-of-sale systems and has partnered with omnichannel software platform NewStore. At this location, each sales associate is equipped with an iPhone that replaces legacy retail technology and provides access to capabilities such as endless aisle, mobile checkout, clienteling and BOPIS.

“The iPhone frees up store employees to focus on delivering unique brand experiences, when previously they were distracted by clunky systems and cumbersome processes,” said Stephan Schambach, founder and CEO of NewStore. “Decathlon is effectively turning its associates into a point of sale, simplifying even the most complex retail workflows and unlocking tremendous value for the customer and Decathlon alike.”

Rather than lining up to pay, customers can approach any sales associate and request to do so. Their physical shopping cart is placed inside an RFID-enabled Mobile Checkout Station, which tracks the items in the cart. The sales associate scans a QR code on the station, which generates a digital shopping cart that can then be paid for using Apple Pay, a gift card or a traditional credit card. Customers can also pay by Apple Watch if they choose.

The new location in Emeryville expands Decathlon’s reach of 1,500 stores in 49 countries. It will sell the retailer’s exclusive branded products in more than 80 sports categories, including hiking gear and shoes for running, fishing and even kiteboarding.

“We have built a loyal and engaged community in the Bay Area,” said Tony Leon, CIO and CTO at Decathlon USA. “The NewStore platform connects shoppers to our brand and exclusive products. With real omnichannel in the hands of mobile-powered store associates, we can deliver a customer experience that truly drives our mission of making sports accessible to everyone.”

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