Asda is partnering with sports retailer Decathlon to open a pilot shop in-shop. The tie up fits into Asda's emerging focus of finding new uses for surplus space at its largest stores to build their appeal with shoppers.
Watford Supercentre to host first Decathlon shop
The initial store will occupy 1,290 sq ft and operate primarily as a click and collect outlet where shoppers will be able to browse Decathlon's full offer. A small range of items will also be displayed for purchase in-store, according to press reports. Watford is unusual in that it has always hosted a range of non-food retailers around the edge of the trading floor and has been a test bed for previous trials, such as the introduction of Barclays Bank branches in-store. For more on Asda Watford, click here for our store visit report.
Asda keen to partner with complementary retailers
Last year CEO Andy Clarke indicated that he was happy to partner with more retailers to use up excess space in larger format stores. "We're very open to working with them and I think we'll see more of that going forward," he said. For Decathlon a partnership with Asda makes sense as it has long wanted to pursue faster expansion in the UK but has been thwarted by the lack of affordable 50,000 sq ft sites. Currently, just 18 of its 900 sites globally are in the UK.
A trend that's building momentum
Asda's initiative follows similar moves by Sainsbury's and Tesco. At its strategic review last November, Mike Coupe said he expected one in four of Sainsbury's supermarkets to have surplus space over the next five years as a result of changes in shopper behaviour. It is now trialling concessions at larger stores with Argos, 10 of which are set to open by this summer. Tesco meanwhile now operates a range of foodservice concepts to provide a new dimension to the large store shopping trip, including Giraffe, Decks and Harris + Hoole. How Tesco chooses to take this business forward is under review following the recent departure of its new food experiences chief executive, Michael Holmes.