The Australian branch of sporting goods retailer Decathlon has been fined around A$1.5m ($1m) by the Federal Court for supplying goods that failed to comply with Australian safety label standards.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), a federal watchdog, began investigating the matter last July.
Decathlon has admitted that it supplied 432 basketball rings and backboards and 307 portable swimming pools that violate the safety standards.
From January 2016 to December 2019, the retailer supplied 66 portable pools that did not include the required warnings such as ‘Children have drowned in portable swimming pools’ and ‘Ensure active adult supervision at all times’.
Decathlon also supplied 341 basketball rings and backboards that did not contain instructions warning users not to attach the products to brick walls.
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said: “Mandatory safety standards exist to reduce the risk of death and serious injury to consumers, especially children, when using these types of products.
“By not including these important warnings, Decathlon put consumers at risk of serious harm when they were using the Decathlon swimming pools, basketball rings and backboards.
“It is illegal to sell products in Australia that do not comply with mandatory safety standards, and consumers have a right to expect that products they purchase will not endanger their safety or the safety of their family and others.”
In addition to the fine, the court has ordered Decathlon to issue a corrective notice on its website and to implement an Australian Consumer Law (ACL) compliance programme.
The retailer has agreed to comply with all the directions of the court and will also pay the costs incurred by the ACCC.
Decathlon operates through its digital platform and five stores in Melbourne and Sydney.
The company currently operates more than 1,500 stores across more than 55 countries. Its head office is in France.