Decathlon (retailer)

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Decathlon S.A.
Founded1976; 45 years ago (1976)
FounderMichel Leclercq
HeadquartersVilleneuve d'Ascq, France
Number of locations
1,647 stores in 57 countries[1] (January 2020[2])
Key people
Michel Aballea (CEO)
Sports equipment
RevenueIncrease US$12.80 billion (2017)[1][3]
Number of employees
SubsidiariesQuechua, Tribord, Domyos, B'Twin, Kipsta, Nabaiji, Wed'ze, Simond, Kalenji, Newfeel, Artengo, Inesis, Geologic, Caperlan, Solognac, Fouganza, Forclaz, Oxelo, Aptonia, Geonaute, Orao, Subea, Outshock [4]

Decathlon S.A. (French pronunciation: ​[dekatlɔ̃]) is a French sporting goods retailer. With over 1647 stores in nearly 1000 cities in 57 countries and regions (Jan 2020),[1] it is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world.[5][6]

The company manages the research, design, production, logistics and distribution of its products in house; partners with global suppliers; and markets their own brands directly to consumers in Decathlon-branded big-box stores.


Founded by Michel Leclercq in 1976, Decathlon started with a store in Lille, France.[7] Its holding company was formerly known as Oxylane.

The company expanded abroad a decade later: to Germany in 1986, Spain in 1992, Italy in 1993,[citation needed] Belgium in 1997,[8] Portugal, the United Kingdom in 1999, Brazil in 2001, China in 2003, India in 2009, Czech Republic in 2010, Taiwan in 2012, Hong Kong in 2013, Malaysia and Singapore in 2016, South Africa, Philippines and Indonesia in 2017 in South Korea and Australia in 2018, and Canada in 2019. The company employs more than 87,000 staff[1] from 80 different nationalities.[citation needed]

The retailer stocks a wide range of sporting goods, from tennis rackets to advanced scuba diving equipment, usually in large, big-box superstores averaging 4,000m2 in size.[9] Decathlon Group markets its products under more than 20 brands.[4] Its research and development facilities are located across France, where the company develops its product designs, registering up to 40 patents per year.[10]


Countries with Decathlons[1]
Entrance of Kochi store[11]
Entrance of İstanbul store
Entrance of Dalian store
Entrance of Arnhem store
Decathlon, Southside Wandsworth, London
Decathlon Branch at Amritsar, Punjab
Entrance of Amritsar, Punjab store

As of May 2021, Decathlon operated 1,655 Decathlon stores worldwide in nearly 1,000 cities and 65 countries.[1]

Online delivery has been introduced in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mainland China, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Philippine, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and recently, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and parts of Canada (Ontario & Quebec).[12]

In India, Decathlon products may be purchased directly through their stores, subsequent to change in India's FDI policy and approval for Decathlon in February 2013.[13] In addition to this, Decathlon products are also available online through their online resellers.

In late 2016, an online only delivery service was introduced in Tunisia in preparation of the opening in Tunis of its first store.[14] The first store opened in November 2017 in Tunis City commercial center in Tunis.[15] A second location opened in April 2018 in the country situated in La Marsa.[citation needed]

In February 2017, they opened the first store in Bogota, Colombia in the mall Parque La Colina.[16]

In July 2017, Decathlon entered the Philippine market with a location at Festival Mall in Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, and in Tiendesitas, Pasig.[17] In August 2017, the company announced it would open its first Canadian store in Brossard, Quebec during the spring of 2018.[18]

In November 2017, Decathlon entered the Indonesia market.[19]

Their first Australian store opened in Tempe, Sydney, NSW, in December 2017.[20] After two years in the Australian market, the viability of the Australian business is under question after posting a trading loss of $19,563,819 (Australian dollars) in just 2 years of trading.[21]

In April 2018, the company announced it would open its first store in Kyiv, Ukraine in the first months of 2019.[22]

In 2019, the company opened stores in Ireland;[23] Vietnam;[24] Bangladesh; Malta; and Serbia.[25] The company also opened stores in the United States (California),[26] — having acquired the 18 locations of MVP Sports Stores in 1999, rebranded them under the Decathlon brand and subsequently closed the stores by 2006.

In November 2020, the first Decathlon store opened in Riga, Latvia.

Decathlon was supposed to open in Mauritius in April 2021 but due to the lockdown, the date of the grand opening was on the 13th May 2021.

Product brands[edit]

Decathlon is vertically integrated, designing and developing its own products and marketing under its more than 20 brands, with each sport—and often sub-sports and sports groups—having their own brand:

Brands providing technical support for the products for the company's passion brands:

  • Equarea - Clothing designed for the active removal of sweat
  • Essensole - Shoe soles and insoles
  • Novadry - Waterproof and breathable clothes
  • Stratermic - Warm and light clothes
  • Strenfit - Light and Robust Synthetic fabrics (non garment)
  • Supportiv - Support and compression

Economic review[edit]

Its success has greatly contributed to the decline of independent retailers in France, while the spread of its own brands has caused great difficulties for traditional manufacturers. 2008 was a record year for the company as the brand Decathlon had beaten all its competitors on three key points: margin, market share, and highest turnover per square meter of retail space. It is arguably the third at a global level. A 2008 survey of 774 catchment areas at the request of the Ministry of Economy and Finance shows that "for sporting goods, Decathlon is dominant in 92.8% of zones".[28] This dominant position has the effect of marginalizing its commercial competitors, including independent retailers.[29]


In 2009, Decathlon's sector rivals, Go Sport [fr] and Sport 2000 [fr], joined forces to set up a common purchasing centre in Switzerland, intended to "pressurize most of the major international suppliers", according to François Neukirsh, Managing Director of Go Sport, in the newspaper Les Échos. Otherwise, the company does not have significant competition due to their specific target audience in mass-market retail. Intersport is also a major competitor mainly in European market.

Social standards[edit]

Decathlon claims to follow a strict policy when it comes to employee welfare and that all contractors working with Decathlon follow the Human Responsibility in Production (HRP) process in all activities. The HRP designates the management system and resources implemented by Decathlon relative to workplace conditions at production sites and with suppliers.[citation needed]

Since 2003, Decathlon has adopted a social charter of the Social and Environmental Responsibility World Forum regarding human rights, health and safety, respect for the environment, corruption and management and communication.[30]

Decathlon has however declined to disclose the names of their suppliers, and has been under scrutiny after reports indicate that the company's suppliers in Sri Lanka's free trade zones violate the country's labor laws.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Decathlon in the world". Decathlon Group. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Decathlon United". Decathlon United.
  3. ^ "Largest Sporting Goods Retailer, Decathlon Boosts Ground-Level Distribution Visibility with LogiNext". Business Wire. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Our Passion Brands".
  5. ^ "Decathlon, known as 'the Aldi of activewear', will open first Aussie store in Sydney tomorrow". 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Largest Sporting Goods Retailer, Decathlon Boosts Ground-Level Distribution Visibility with LogiNext". Business Wire. 28 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Sporting Goods Retailer 'Decathlon' Launches Rapid Cross-Canada Superstore Expansion [Feature]". RETAIL INSIDER. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Decathlon klaar voor drie nieuwe winkels". De Standaard (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  9. ^ Caruel, Sarah. "Decathlon - Oxylane - Ox'IT". International Internships. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Decathlon Innovation and Research". Decathlon Group R&D. Decathlon S.A. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Decathlon India opens 1st retail outlet in Kerala". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  14. ^ "". Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  15. ^ "decathlon-enfin-en-tunisie-interview-avec-le-directeur-de-la-marque-en-tunisie". Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  16. ^ Tiempo, Casa Editorial El. "Decathlon: el reto en Colombia es ofrecer los mismos precios que en Europa".
  17. ^ "#SportsForEveryJuan: Decathlon Philippines Opens At Festival Mall". Relatable Fitness. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Decathlon Announces 1st Canadian Location". Retail Insider. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Decathlon Indonesia opens nation's largest sports store". 20 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  20. ^ Carey, Alexis (5 December 2017). "Decathlon in Tempe, Sydney: The ALDI of activewear opens first store". Archived from the original on 7 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Search Company and Other Registers". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Стало відомо, яким і де буде перший в Україні магазин найбільшого у світі спортивного бренду". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Decathlon plans nine outlets for Ireland, starting with Ballymun". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Decathlon Vietnam opens first store". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  25. ^ "First Decathlon sporting goods store opens in Serbia". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Decathlon opens first American store". Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  27. ^ "". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  28. ^ Distribution : l'enquête secrète de Lagarde, Le Nouvel Observateur no. 2275, 12 June 2008
  29. ^ « La déferlante des MDD façon Decathlon déstabilise évidemment les marques traditionnelles. », Gilles Tanguy : Decathlon, le colosse qui écrase tous ses rivaux, Capital, 3 July 2009 ; « Cinq cents personnes rassemblées jeudi à Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) à l'appel de la fédération textile - habillement - cuir CGT, ont envahi un magasin Decathlon près du Stade de France pour protester contre les plans de licenciements et les délocalisations dans le secteur textile, a-t-on appris de sources policière et syndicale. »,, 06.03.2003.
  30. ^ [1], Bipiz Online, 23 February 2016
  31. ^ "Sewing on an Empty Stomach". ZEIT ONLINE. Retrieved 3 June 2019.

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