Decathlon (retailer)

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Decathlon SE
Founded1976; 47 years ago (1976)
FounderMichel Leclercq
HeadquartersVilleneuve d'Ascq, France
Number of locations
1697 stores in 60 countries[1] (August 2021[2])
Key people
Barbara Martin Coppola (CEO)[3]
Sports equipment
RevenueIncrease US$11.4 billion (2020)[1][4]
Number of employees
93 710 (2020)[1]

Decathlon SE (French pronunciation: ​[dekatlɔ̃]) is a French sporting goods retailer. With over 2080 stores in 56 countries and regions (2023),[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 its 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, mainland China in 2003, India in 2009, Turkey[9] and 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.[10] Decathlon Group markets its products under more than 20 brands.[11] Its research and development facilities are located across France, where the company develops its product designs, registering up to 40 patents per year.[12]

In January 2022, Decathlon named Ingka group's chief digital officer, Barbara Martin Coppola, as its new global chief executive officer.[13]

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:

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


Association football (Kipsta)[edit]


Former clubs[edit]

Associations and leagues[edit]

Kipsta is the official match ball supplier for the following associations and leagues:

Cycling (Van Rysel)[edit]

Squash (Opfeel)[edit]

Tennis (Artengo)[edit]



Other notable sponsorships[edit]

In October 2020, Decathlon Ghana was announced as the Ghana Football Association's official sports retail partner for all Ghana national football team paraphernalia and other merchandising products in a GH₵1 million (≈ €146,000) four-year partnership deal.[28]

In January 2021, Decathlon signed a multi-year merchandising agreement with the National Basketball Association as an official licensee under Tarmak.[35][36]

Decathlon Germany will be the main sponsor of the IBU World Cup Biathlon as of the 2021/2022 season.[37]

Decathlon India became the sports partner of Kolkata Thunderbolts for the 2022 season of the Prime Volleyball League.[38][39]

Decathlon bought a five-year naming rights for Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy for €6 million from 2022 onwards, renaming the stadium as Decathlon Arena Stade Pierre-Mauroy.[40]

Decathlon became an official partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[41]


Countries with Decathlon stores[1]
Entrance of one of the Kochi stores in Kalamassery[42]
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, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and recently, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and parts of Canada (Ontario & Quebec).[43]

In India, Decathlon products may be purchased directly through their stores, after a change in India's FDI policy and approval for Decathlon in February 2013.[44] In addition to this, Decathlon products are also available online through their online resellers.[citation needed]

In late 2016, an online-only delivery service was introduced in Tunisia in preparation for the opening in Tunis of its first store.[45] The first store opened in November 2017 in Tunis City commercial center in Tunis.[46] 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.[47]

In July 2017, Decathlon entered the Philippine market with a location at Festival Mall in Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, and in Tiendesitas, Pasig.[48] In August 2017, the company announced it would open its first Canadian store in Brossard, Quebec during the spring of 2018.[49]

In November 2017, Decathlon entered the Indonesia market.[50]

Their first Australian store opened in Tempe, Sydney, NSW, in December 2017.[51] 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 two years of trading.[52]

In April 2018, the company announced it would open its first store in Kyiv, Ukraine, in the first months of 2019.[53]

In 2019, the company opened stores in Ireland;[54] Vietnam;[55] Bangladesh; Malta; and Serbia.[56] The company also opened stores in the United States (California).[57] In an earlier attempt to enter the US market, it acquired the 18 Boston, Massachusetts area locations of MVP Sports Stores in 1999, rebranded them under the Decathlon brand, and subsequently closed those stores by 2006.[citation needed]

In November 2020, the first Decathlon store opened in Riga, Latvia.[citation needed]

Decathlon was supposed to open in Mauritius in April 2021 but due to the lockdown, the grand opening was on 13 May 2021.[citation needed]

In April 2021, the first Decathlon store opened in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah.[citation needed]

Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, many international, particularly Western companies, pulled out of Russia. Decathlon has been criticized for not announcing any scaling down of its operations, unlike most of its Western competitors.[58][59] On 29 March, Decathlon announced that it has ceased its operations and suspended the operation of all its stores in Russia.[60] However, reports in mid-June indicated that the stores are still in operation and may be temporally closed by the end of the month until it becomes possible to renew supplies.[61]

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".[62] This dominant position has the effect of marginalizing its commercial competitors, including independent retailers.[63]


In 2009, Decathlon's sector rivals, Go Sport [fr] and Sport 2000 [fr], joined forces to set up a common purchasing center 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 its specific target audience in mass-market retail. Intersport is also a major competitor mainly in the European market. Decathlon has changed its name to Nolhtaced for a month in Belgium for promoting reverse shopping.[64]

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.[65]

Decathlon has, however, declined to disclose the names of its 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.[66]


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External links[edit]