‘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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Bad sports – tell Decathlon its new store is in Charlton, not Greenwich

Charlton Decathlon
We could have been writing about Decathlon’s opening day offers instead

Europe’s top sports store, Decathlon, is preparing to open a new store in Charlton next month. But it doesn’t want to shout about it.

If you’re a keen runner or cyclist, or have ever picked up football training gear, you’ll probably know about the chain, whose only other outlet in south-east London is in Rotherhithe.

It sells quality sports equipment at low prices. You might have seen its Btwin bikes around the place, or its Kipsta training gear. (And you can buy Ritter Sports at the checkout too.)

Now the French-based chain is preparing to move into the former Next store in the Bugsby’s Way retail parks.

Which is great news for Charlton. But it would be even better if Decathlon could actually admit that its store is in Charlton.

Yes, it’s that same old story. Decathlon is currently billing the store as being in “Greenwich”. Not with an SE7 postcode, buster.

Sign our petition and tell Decathlon to call its store “Charlton”.

Homesense Charlton
Nope.

We’re used to second-rate retail shed chains and other imposters claiming to be in the posher place down the road. Which is why you won’t read about Homesense on this site.

There’s even “Starbucks Greenwich” on Woolwich Road, two miles down the road from the actual Starbucks Greenwich.

But we thought better of Decathlon.

Please sign our petition, and tell Decathlon they can do better than this.

Decathlon website
Maybe the Portsmouth one’s actually in Southampton

Charlton means sport, after all. From Charlton Athletic to the muddy pitches of Charlton Park, Charlton Lido to the skate park and cricket hub, Hornfair Park’s BMX hub to Charlton Park rugby club, there are few names in south London with a bigger sporting tradition.

And loads of people who will buy football, swimming, skating, biking, rugby and cricket gear because they identify with Charlton. Think of the marketing opportunities for Decathlon.

Greenwich, meanwhile, means the same old tourist stuff. Outside SE10, it’s an empty boast.

Shame, really, because other stores are proud to be in Charlton. Asda has never pretended to be anywhere else in over 30 years. Its newer neighbour Sainsbury’s proudly boasts of being in Charlton Riverside. And look at Primark’s store boss when he opened for business last year

It’s a small thing, but one that grates. And when we asked Decathlon why it was naming its new store “Greenwich”, it didn’t respond. So let’s do something about it.

Please sign our petition, and let Decathlon’s management know that we’re proud to be in Charlton – and they should be too.

We’ve done this before – heading off a plan to rename Charlton Lido as “Royal Greenwich Lido” in 2013. Let’s do it again.

  • 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.