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Simran Says: An interesting new retail store...
Posted On: 08-11-2010 00:00:00 10

I was in Bangalore recently and on a friend’s insistent recommendation, I visited the Decathlon cash and carry store in Sarjapur. The sprawling store, which opens at 8.30 and stays open till 8.30 pm, caters to a range of sports requirements. As you walk towards the store entrance you see a number of sample tents pitched along the way and even a small readymade swimming pool with a water jet which allows you to swim in one spot (the aquatic equivalent of the treadmill). The store itself is like a giant shed. All the merchandise is on tall racks which are on wheels. The store can therefore be arranged and re-arranged overnight. And then you are struck by the prices. Polar fleece jacket starting at Rs 299/-, Badminton racquets starting at Rs 299/-, T/ shirts at Rs 249/-, Footwear starting at Rs 299/-. Most of the goods ( perhaps all) were private label. Though the store was empty at this early hour ( it was 8.30 am) there was a young boy who was roller blading around the store as he tried out a new set of blades. I am told on weekends it is full of people skating and even cycling around the spacious store. I bought myself an interesting mechanical torch. No batteries required. You just wind it up ! When we went to pay at the cash till there was a surprise in store. There was a computer screen facing the cashier and one facing the customer. As soon as the cashier made the bill 3 faces appeared on the touch screen facing us. One was a smiling facing titled “Excellent experience,” the next was a satisfied face titled “Satisfied” and the third was a angry red face saying “ Dissatisfied.” We were asked to press one of the titled faces. Till we pressed one the cashier could not process the bill ! The manager explained that this allows them to get back to every dissatisfied customer to understand the cause of discontent and to set things right. As we stepped out of the store I notice a large open space in front of the store. I was told this was used for birthday parties or let out for sporting events and sometimes on weekends the members were invited for fun sessions on various themes like bicycle maintenance, tight rope walking etc. I left the store completely charmed by the experience and am using this column to recommend a visit by all those who are reading this.


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