Episode 84: *Special Episode* Shifting Channels in the Specialty Bicycle Market

we think that the engagement is the most important part today to engage, and to talk to our customers, and to actually do the dialog, and to have the face-to-face, as you’re saying, the hand-to-hand. That’s what we’re doing right now, and that’s the most important part.”

– Sophie O’Kelly, Chief  Operating Officer

To listen to all episodes in this series, click here


Part 4: A Global Sporting Goods Powerhouse Makes its Move into the U.S. Market with House Branded Bikes and Gear


This episode is the third in a special Channel Mastery podcast series, co-produced by Bicycle Retailer and Verde Brand Communications, titled: Shifting Channels in the Specialty Bicycle Market.

What happens when the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, Decathlon, enters the U.S. market, armed with capital, smart leadership and an entire assortment of house branded bike, and other gear?

The story of Decathlon USA is one that’s still unfolding, but there’s SO much to learn about the why, how and when behind this major retail expansion centered in Northern California’s Bay Area.

The story began in Q1 2018, with its original launch into San Francisco, Calif., with a smaller ‘beta’ store. During Sea Otter, 2019, Decathlon opened a flagship store across the bay in Emeryville, Calif.

The leadership team of Decathlon USA used the first storefront as a ‘test and learn’ operation, enabling real-time feedback from consumers in the Bay Area – and throughout California – on its house branded product as well as an experiment on California consumers for its store and online retail experience.

That experience informed the launch of the Emeryville location. In both stores, Decathlon is deploying best-in-class retail technology, including on-floor robotics and an array of video merchandising, among other innovations. The beta store also enabled Decathlon to gain a strong purview of its U.S. consumer, and in this episode you can learn about how the team began to piece together who that consumer is and what Decathlon can offer.

Today on the Channel Mastery podcast, I host Decathlon USA’s COO Sophie O’Kelly, and Jennifer Tetrick, who serves as Director of Communications and PR (and is a former pro road racer).

We’ve all been reading about the arrival of Decathlon USA, now you get to hear the story and strategy behind this expansion straight from two of the operational leaders. There’s so much to learn from the research and thoughtful approach this global retail powerhouse took to launch its U.S. operations and storefronts.

The Shifting Channels in the Bike Market special series of the Channel Mastery podcast co-produced with Bicycle Retailer & Industry News and Verde Brand Communications. Please subscribe to the show by going to iTunes, and while you’re there, please give us a rating and review so that more businesses can benefit from the resources Channel Mastery brings just to specialty leaders every week.

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Tech in retail, market research, store launch strategies, ship to show product launches, broad market bike and sporting goods competitive set, today’s consumer preferences, cause marketing, data, e-bikes and more



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