‘Here at Decathlon, we aim to sustainably make the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to the many’

Alex Snow, workshop manager for the flagship Decathlon store in Liverpool, explains how his team are hoping to help the local community

This piece first appeared in the November edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here

Can you tell me more about the Decathlon workshop?
I’m proud to be working in the new Decathlon flagship store in Liverpool as the cycling and workshop manager for a diverse and mixed-gender workshop. Together with my team, we’ve built a professional workshop and service list for everyone to take advantage of.

Our Decathlon workshops are eco-driven and this is shown through the vast amount of products we repair. Cycle repair is our biggest, but we repair and save many products from landfills, such as kayaks, tents, rackets, clothing and nearly all products we sell.

Key items we sell have got warranties included, like lifetime warranty on metal bike frames and forks, a five-year warranty on carbon frames, and 10 years on some of our backpacks. We offer full-service packages that can be booked online or through the team in-store.

In addition, we have ‘express services’ that allow customers to have their bikes fixed there and then while they wait at the workshop seating areas.

How do you see your business’ role both in the local community and the wider cycling industry?
Here at Decathlon, we aim to sustainably make the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to the many. This is shown throughout our workshop services and the store as a whole. The workshop team strives to repair all bikes that come through, being Cytech trained we can fix anything from a cheap run-around to a premium racing machine.

We have created services such as ‘Second life’ which helps us repair and sell items at a discounted rate, which is beneficial to help the local community around our stores get to work cheaper and be able to help the planet themselves by saving bikes and products from heading to a landfill.

We aim for long-lasting relationships with our customers and always have our doors open to building partnerships with businesses, clubs and groups within the community.

How has your business changed in the last few years? What are your plans for development?
We have seen an increase in online sales which has led our stores to adapt to this new omnichannel level of buying and selling. We have increased our availability on our Decathlon website, allowing more customers to book and understand our service options online.

Together with our team, we make changes daily to adapt to new market trends and local needs. We have created new training hubs around the country for our staff members to keep them updated with the latest cycling and environmental repair options.

Other things we have introduced over the last couple of years and continue to develop that benefit our customers include free home delivery when you order in-store from our team or designated kiosk ordering stands, one hour Click and Collect for any item in stock and Decathlon support portal, allowing customers to diagnose and fix items themselves.

Alex, 29, has been working in cycling for six years, and has been with Decathlon for three, starting out at the flagship store in Surrey Quays, London. He has recently moved back to Liverpool as part of the team designing and opening the new store there. Decathlon Liverpool workshop is open seven days a week, 9am-8pm Monday to Saturday and 11am-5pm Sundays. The workshop currently consists of a team of four, led by lead mechanic Richard Hazeldine.

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