In this series, our collaborator Carolyne Brown meets the Local Talents—flagship stores in the heart of Mail Champlain. These interviews are all about sharing, sincerity and proximity. We invite you to enter their world and discover who they are.
Let’s meet Marion Nadeau, Store Leader at Décathlon
During my studies, I started working part-time at Decathlon in France in December 2009. I was part of the customer service team. I fell in love with Decathlon and never left. During my career, I was a salesperson, a department manager, a customer service manager, an operations manager and an assistant manager. In June 2018, the National Director for Canada, at the time, was looking for employees with Decathlon experience to support new store openings across the country and I applied. I was hired to prepare the Quebec City store opening, and took over the management of the Brossard store in 2019.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in your career?
The ability to understand others, because each person has their own way of thinking and working, their own habits, and their own way of communicating. When you are in charge of a team, the biggest challenge is to be able to understand and adapt to everyone. This is a daily challenge that I have faced a lot since I moved to Quebec, because there are slight cultural differences.
What is the biggest lesson that business leadership has taught you?
You must always be able to challenge yourself, because what is true today may not be true tomorrow.
Tell us a funny anecdote or event from your entrepreneurial journey.
An anecdote that really made an impression on me was the first Saturday that I worked at Decathlon, at the cash register. In France, we still accept check payments. So, a customer wanted to purchase a bike for his child and pay by check. I put the check through the machine and gave it back to him to sign. While I was still holding the check in my hand, another customer asked me a question and the bike buyer left with his check, without paying. In the Saturday frenzy, I didn't realize what had just happened. At the end of the day, when I was counting my register with the supervisor, we noticed that the check was missing. I thought I was going to get fired, but my supervisor told me that it could happen to anyone, and the important thing was that it didn't happen again. I was glad they tolerated my mistake and it showed the values of the company.
What keeps you passionate about your field?
Customers, of course, but also the people I work with. It's really great to see all the opportunities Decathlon offers its employees. I've never been empowered like I am here.
What advice would you give to a future entrepreneur?
You have to be proactive. You must take charge, trust yourself and everything will be okay.
What do people notice most about Décathlon ?
Customers are impressed with the size of the store and our affordable prices. They are also amazed by the variety of available products and the opportunity to test our products in-store.
What are your most popular products?
Our bikes are very successful and are starting to become a bit scarce on the market. Otherwise, another of our best sellers is our Easy Breath scuba mask. Paddle boards are also very popular. We are surprised to see how popular Finnish bowling is. People play this game in parks or their backyards throughout the summer.
Unlike our competitors, Decathlon designs and distributes all of its products. We have design development teams in France. What also sets us apart is that the store is a playground; you can touch everything, and test the products. In our gym you can try out basketballs, there are sports classes and we even have a small climbing wall for children. We want to make room for discoveries, which is something you don't find in traditional stores.
What is your best-kept secret?
I don't like to have secrets. I always have to be reassuring. Even when I'm stressed out, I don't want to upset the customers or our teams.
To continue to have fun every day in my life, both personally and professionally.