The company opened three shops in the country this year and will expand to Talca and Puerto Montt next year. The firm’s local CEO says that they hope to become «the leading athletic wear brand» in Chile.
Decathlon has grown steadily since it opened its first store in Chile in 2018. In an interview with Diario Financiero, Jon Hernaez, who has served as the CEO of Decathlon in Chile since 2021, stated that this year has been especially meaningful for the brand, with multiple store openings that reflect the company’s ambitious expansion plan.
The recent opening of a store in La Serena brings the total number of locations in Chile to 10, including shops in strategic places like Santiago, Maipú, Viña del Mar and Concepción.
A philosophy of space and experience
Decathlon is known for having spacious stores that cover a wide range of athletic disciplines. Hernaez notes that the average size of the brand’s stores in Chile is 2,500 m2. He recognizes that maintaining this large size is an important aspect of offering clients a complete shopping experience.
This approach reinforces brand identity and underscores Decathlon’s commitment to being a leader in the Chilean athletic wear market.
Innovation and complementary services
In addition to its physical growth, Decathlon is promoting parallel projects designed to strengthen its presence in Chile.
The company plans to launch its own e-commerce application during the first quarter of 2024. This platform will complement its existing services and expand its digital reach.
Hernaez also notes the importance of adapting to the demands of Chilean consumers, moving towards more technical products and specialized services such as repair shops and a selection of new products ready for a “second life.”
Retail in Chile
Decathlon is expanding even as Chile's retail sector faces difficulties. This period has been marked by economic fluctuations and external challenges. However, Hernaez underscores the company’s long-term vision and its capacity to adapt to the changing conditions of the Chilean market.
He also argues that Chile’s advantage is that it offers a “privileged environment” for athletic activities.
Hernaez explains that there have been considerable fluctuations in consumption since the first half of 2022, but that there has been a trend towards stability since mid-2023.
French companies have a presence in various parts of the Chilean economy. These range from food companies like Diana Food to multinational energy corporations like EDF Renewables. Learn more about French investments in Chile.