Decathlon USA will be shutting down all of its operations at the end of the year. Decathlon USA is a subsidiary of the French-based sporting goods retailer which has hundreds of stores, mostly in Europe, but only four in the United States, all of which are in Massachusetts.

“We regret that insufficient performance compelled us to take this action.” said Yves Claude, Decathlon USA’s Chairman of the Board.

The shutdown will affect Decathlon USA’s four Massachusetts stores — in Bellingham, Burlington, Hanover and Norwood — in addition to Decathlon USA’s regional headquarters and warehouse in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Earlier this year the company had announced plans for a new facility in Woburn which now will not be built.

There are approximately 240 Decathlon employees impacted by this decision. The majority are in the four stores and many will continue working for the company as it liquidates and winds down operations. All employees will be provided with severance and benefits in accordance with federal and state law. The liquidation is expected to begin in October and be completed in December.

Decathlon’s parent company bought the assets of the former MVP Sports Stores, Inc. in 1999. In 2003 Decathlon USA altered its business plan and shut down all but four of its 20 regional stores.

“We want to express our appreciation to Decathlon USA’s employees for all their efforts,” said Claude. “We also want to thank the millions of customers who visited our stores over the past six years.”

Decathlon operates 373 stores worldwide, serving 100 million customers every year. Since its inception, Decathlon has promoted a clear goal — to make sports accessible to the greatest number of people, either aspiring or experienced participant.