As of April, 2019, Decathlon employs 87,000 dedicated teammates, throughout 1520 stores, operating in 870 cities, in 54 countries and regions — The world’s largest sporting goods retailer, Decathlon has made product and apparel for more than 80 sports accessible to people around the world, for almost 45 years. Its mission; “sports for all, all for sports”.
But the retail giant isn’t playing by traditional retail rules with its latest venture into the U.S. market. In Spring 2018, Decathlon made its United States debut with an experimental “Lab Store” based in San Francisco. The goal was to discover the best user experience in-store and online for Americans, then create the store of the future based on their needs.
To do this, the retailer conducted a thorough search for innovative technology partners to match the brand’s own spirit for maximising innovation to benefit its customers. Core to Decathlon’s challenge, though, was the desire to eliminate legacy point of sale (POS) systems and operate its stores as cashless.
“We want our stores to be a place where people discover new sports and engage with our teammates and products,” Ashley Benson, product manager at Decathlon, told Mobile Payments Today via email. “Having a cashless store means no long checkout lines or traditional cash registers.”
Decathlon worked with two major parties to implement their vision; NewStore, supporting mobile point-of-sale operations and back-end systems integration, and Proper, supplying roaming mPOS hardware, allowing mobile payment devices to be safely and securely mounted to iPhone.
“NewStore allows Decathlon to put more associates on the store floor where they belong,” Tony Leon, CIO and CTO of Decathlon USA said in a statement. “They are armed with iPhone and ready to help customers as opposed to being stuck behind a cash wrap waiting to process transactions with a clunky old POS.”
Proper iPhone mPOS hardware works by securing a mounting plate to the rear of almost any payment reader that magnetically mounts and dismounts to a Proper iPhone mPOS Case, empowering employees with immediate access to store operations, while enabling completely customer interaction when required. The Proper iPhone mPOS Kit also features a drop-proof wrist-strap that doesn’t encumber staff from regular activities such as handling stock and managing inventory.
Retail Dive writes:
Allowing purchases to take place throughout the store embraces the recent trend of providing interactive experiences in brick-and-mortar locations rather than simple transactions.
The model removes traditional cash registers from the store completely, making Decathlon’s iPhone-wielding associates guides to introduce the new concept to customers. Roaming associates will also be able to complete buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) operations and buy online, return in-store orders.