European sports supplies retailer Decathlon has signed an agreement with Nanhai district government in Foshan, Guangdong, to open two new outlets, a Qiandeng Lake project and Shishan project, both of which are scheduled to open in 2011.
According to Decathlon's development director for South China, Nanhai is only the first stop for the company's business expansion in the southern areas of China. In the next five years, Decathlon will open five to ten concept stores and one sports-themed park in Foshan alone.
Formerly focusing on first-tier cities, Decathlon started to show interest in China's second-tier cities at the beginning of 2010. Decathlon opened four new stores in China in 2009 and the company currently has 23 retail sites in ten first-tier Chinese cities. However, Decathlon's promotional materials show that it will implement a large-scale expansion in second-tier cities in the future.
Decathlon's Qiandeng Lake project and Shishan project will reportedly cover an area of 3,000 square meters and 2,000 square meters, respectively. These projects are expected to help Nanhai's sport socialization and the development of the urban leisure and sports industry.