Anyone familiar with stores from French sports retailer Decathlon will picture large, mostly edge-of-town sheds, in which almost any sport you could care to think of is catered for. Yet visit Bromley, immediately to the south-east of London, and the newly opened Decathlon is not only in the centre of town but its 10,000 sq ft across two floors looks and feels like a large boutique.
Each floor in fact has the same footplate and the dark grey-black walls and mid-shop fixtures with black metal are part of a new format from the retailer. This is not to say that the number of sports provided for has been decreased. Enthusiasts will find kit and merchandise for around 70 sports, from kayaking to cycling, but without the usual sense of an almost hypermarket-like interior that tends to characterise a Decathlon store.
Management for the outfit say that the intention is for more of these more modestly-sized stores to be opened in and around London.