‘We’re not changing our store name’: Decathlon turns its back on Charlton

Decathlon Charlton
Where am I? Decathlon opens at the end of the month

Sports retailer Decathlon has snubbed nearly 200 locals to insist it will be calling its new store “Greenwich”, despite being firmly inside Charlton.

192 people signed The Charlton Champion‘s petition to ask the chain to acknowledge the sporting heritage of the are where it will open its new store at the end of the month.

The petition will stay open until the end of the week, when we will present it to Decathlon to give the firm one more chance to show its pride in an area that’s home to Charlton Athletic, Charlton Lido, the Charlton Park cricket and skateboard hubs, Hornfair Park BMX track and two non-league football clubs.

A Decathlon UK spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: “We are honoured that our new store is located in Charlton. However, due to the shopping park being called Greenwich Shopping Park we decided to keep this symmetry with the name of the store, as per other stores in the shopping park and call our store Greenwich Decathlon.”

Decathlon promotion
Decathlon staffers promote their “Greenwich” store (which is actually in Charlton) in Greenwich during the London Marathon

The new store will sit just east of Charlton Asda, west of Charlton Riverside Sainsbury’s and M&S, and south of Primark Charlton, whose store manager invited The Charlton Champion to its launch last year made a point of emphasising the branch’s location.

While possibly not the most urgent issue in the area, there is a serious message behind this – if Charlton is to get on its feet and improve itself, it needs major employers in the district to be proud of the area and acknowledge it.

And while, frankly, the stores calling themselves “Greenwich” on the retail park aren’t worth writing about anyway, we hoped better of Decathlon. We like their stuff. We’d like them to engage with an area with a deep sporting heritage.

Petition respondent Maria Tawn said: “They only do it because they think Greenwich sounds more upmarket! Snobbery still exists in the 21st century, especially amongst PR people.”

And Jamie Bannister added: “As a Greenwich resident I agree with this – confusing, nonsensical and a disservice to Charlton.”

The petition closes on Friday – so please sign and show store manager Kieran O’Shea that we’re proud of Charlton, and he should be too.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

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