On my first visit to the new Decathlon store in Emeryville, located in the spot that used to be Babies R Us, I was tempted by everything, but refrained from purchasing anything because I knew I should come back with my kids and my husband to let them enjoy the superstore for themselves.
The store is enormous: what was once the stock room for Babies R Us is now part of the open floor plan at Decathlon, so the square footage count is massive. Decathlon, a staple for sporting goods in Europe, stocks head-to-toe gear for every sport you can think of, which means hats and helmets, swimwear for vacationing and swimwear for lap-swimming, jackets for snow and jackets for sailing, and shoes across many categories, including galoshes for fishing and hunting.
Decathlon is sort of the IKEA of sporting goods. The merchandise comes in vibrant colors with a European vibe. The prices are incredibly low and the manufacturers are house brands. My husband recognized one label “Quechua” as a name he had seen on travelers' backpacks in Europe and in San Francisco.
Quirky shelf signs tell you if products are for high-intensity or low-intensity activities.
Despite not knowing the first thing about horseback riding, I enjoyed browsing the apparel in that section of the store. Riding pants for five-year-olds! So cute!
I wasn't feeling the hunting aisle, packed with camouflage clothing and storage bags for rifles, so I breezed past it and examined the roller skates and scooters.
Hands-on activities invite customers to enjoy the shopping experience. Ping-pong tables, a basketball hoop, and a golf tee are set up for trial use.
Decathlon has done an impressive job connecting with the East Bay community, donating thousands of balls to schools and families, bringing star athletes to events, and creating a fun place to shop. Welcome to the 510, Decathlon!