After reading FB friends' online raves about the new "Decathlon" Sports Store in Neihu (Taipei), I had to find an excuse to go and check it out. The sudden chlorine-induced collapse of the family's entire swimwear collection seemed like the perfect reason to drive over to the store and take a look. I was not disappointed. I think it is the first time we have ever walked into a store together and spent less than 30 minutes finding the "perfect" suits for all of us at prices we can swallow. But, it is not all about swimming; there are products for many sports and outdoor activities, all in one well-organised store.
Decathlon was founded in France in 1976. At the end of 2013, Decathlon had 674 stores in 19 countries. They have actually been in Taichung since 2012, but it's the new store in Neihu that is making news in the parenting circles I hang out in. Three more stores are planned to open in Taiwan this year, so keep your eyes and ears open in your city.
Back to the swimwear. It is usually difficult for me to find a swimsuit I like in Taiwan. This trip, I had difficulty choosing the ONE I would bring home. My son, daughter, and I bought a suit each, and the total was just NTD1,100. There is a lot of sun protection gear for babies through to adults, too. We also found a child's snorkel set (mask in 3 sizes), very cheap swimwear bags, flip-flops, a very nice kite... we are set for summer!
Take a look at the online selection of women's swimsuits. The site is in Chinese, but you can flick through the menu at the top to get an idea of the range of sporting goods they have.
From the homepage images, you can also get excited about the selection of goods. To me, the quality is similar to a department store back home - fair price and fair quality; not the general night-market risky quality I am used to seeing for the price.
According to the sales staff (and the online information), the selection in Neihu is relatively limited, so if you have something in particular you want, you can call first to check they have it. They will bring it in for you then you can pick it up. And if you don't see your size, ask the staff and they can find it for you. - When I heard this, I had visions of a day-trip to the Taichung store. It must be amazing!
Click on this link to see the addresses of the stores around Taiwan, with maps.
Three stores are open 9am-10pm daily. Pingtung's opens at 10am.
11494 台北市 內湖區新湖一路128巷36號 (大潤發內湖1店正後方)
電話： (02) 2795-6700
No. 36, Lane 128, Shi-Hu 1st Road, Neihu 114 (behind RT-Mart 1) - street parking
台中南屯店: 台灣40854 台中市 南屯區大墩南路379號 (Costco旁)
電話： (04) 2471-9666
No. 379, Dadun South Rd, Nantun District Taichung City, 408 (next to Costco) - 200 parking spaces, 70 bicycle parking spaces
台南西門店: 台灣70450 台南市 北區臨安路二段310號2樓 (大潤發二樓)
電話： (06) 2211-980
2F, No. 310, Lin'an Rd Section 2, North District, Tainan City, 704 (RT Mart's 2F)
台灣90065 屏東市 勝利里自由路550號 (屏東市政府對面)
電話： (08) 884-9688
No. 550, Ziyou Rd, Pingtung City Pingtung County, 900 (opposite Pingtong City Hall)