Decathlon has installed 40-feet containers in several city parks in St. Petersburg where customers can rent some of the company’s sporting brands.
Depending on the season and location, Decathlon plans to rent out bicycles, electric scooters, kayaks, SUP boards, tents, football gates, skis, snowboards and skates. Customers can also pick up their online orders in the new outlets.
The project is expected to be gradually scaled up, first to Moscow, then to key Russian resorts, and eventually all over Russia. Decathlon said that it will likely develop the network of renting stations through franchising. The cost of launching one renting outlet is estimated at 3 million rubles (€34,500-$41,000).
Decathlon, which has already started renting bikes and other products in France, will thus be the first sporting goods retailer to launch a large-scale rental infrastructure in Russia. The country’s biggest sports retailer, Sportmaster, previously launched a leasing program for tents and some other sporting goods, but only during the high season in Krasnodar Krai’s resorts.
According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Decathlon’s only competitors will be some local players with strong ties with the park administration bodies of some big cities.