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Decathlon (retailer)

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Decathlon
Company typePrivate
IndustryRetail
Founded1976; 48 years ago (1976)
FounderMichel Leclercq
HeadquartersVilleneuve d'Ascq, France
Number of locations
1751 stores in 69 countries[1] (December 2022[2])
Key people
Barbara Martin Coppola (CEO)[3]
ProductsClothing
Sportswear
Sports equipment
RevenueIncrease €15.4 billion (2022)[1][4]
Number of employees
105,000 (2022)[1]
Websitedecathlon.com

Decathlon (French pronunciation: [dekatlɔ̃]) is a French sporting goods retailer. With over 2,080 stores in 69 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.

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.[7] Decathlon Group markets its products under more than 20 brands.[8] Its research and development facilities are located across France, where the company develops its product designs, registering up to 40 patents per year.[9]

History[edit]

Founded by Michel Leclercq in 1976, Decathlon started with a store in Lille, France.[10] Its holding company was formerly known as Oxylane.[11]

The company expanded abroad a decade later: to Germany in 1986,[12] Spain in 1992,[12][13] Italy in 1993,[12][citation needed] Belgium in 1997,[14] Portugal, the United Kingdom in 1999, Brazil in 2001, mainland China in 2003, India and Romania in 2009, Turkey[15] and Czech Republic in 2010, Taiwan and Lebanon[16] in 2012, Hong Kong in 2013, Malaysia, Singapore and Mexico[17] in 2016, South Africa, Philippines, Tunisia[18][19] and Indonesia in 2017; in South Korea, and Australia in 2018, and Canada in 2019. The company employs more than 93,710 staff[1] from 100 different nationalities.[20]

In 2015, Michel Aballea was appointed as Chief executive officer of the Decathlon group.[21] In January 2022, Decathlon named Ingka group's chief digital officer,[22] Barbara Martin Coppola, as its new global chief executive officer,[23][21] the first time the Decathlon group hired externally for this role.[24]

In September 2019, Decathlon reached an agreement with Alltricks, a leading online retailer of high-end accessories for cyclists and runners. This acquisition allows Decathlon to strengthen its presence in the cycling market.[25][26][27][28]

In 2023, Decathlon opened a training center in Lille.[29] By October 2023, Decathlon had nine training centers in partnership with Afpa Entreprises, an association for the professional training of adults, and three centers of its own on its premises.[29]

In November 2023, Decathlon acquired Bergfreunde, an online specialist retailer for mountain sports, climbing, and outdoor equipment.[30][31] Decathlon is increasing its investments to boost production and expand its retail presence in India, from where it presently exports around 65% of its output to international markets, according to Global CEO Barbara Martin Coppola.[32]

In July 2024, Decathlon reported its investment Recyc'Elit, a start-up specialized in the chemical recycling of polyester textiles and complex PET plastics. [33]

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. In March 2024, the company launched a simplified brand portfolio consisting of category specialist brands and expert brands.[34][35]

Category specialist brands

Expert brands

Sponsorship[edit]

Association football (Kipsta)[edit]

Clubs[edit]

Players[edit]

Associations and leagues[edit]

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

International confederation and tournament[edit]

Athletics (Kiprun)[edit]

Basketball (Tarmak)[edit]

Cycling (Van Rysel)[edit]

Squash (Opfeel)[edit]

Tennis (Artengo)[edit]

Players[edit]

Events[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 deal.[46]

Decathlon Germany will be the main sponsor of the IBU World Cup Biathlon as of the 2021–22 season.[59]

Decathlon India became the sports partner of Kolkata Thunderbolts for the 2022 season of the Prime Volleyball League.[60][61]

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.[62]

Decathlon became an official partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[63][64]

Decathlon was announced as the co-title sponsor of the AG2R La Mondiale Team in a five-year deal from 2024 onwards, renaming the team as Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team.[52]

Locations[edit]

Countries with Decathlon stores[1]
Decathon in Łódź, Poland
Entrance of one of the Kochi stores in Kalamassery
Entrance of Istanbul store
Entrance of Dalian store
Entrance of Arnhem store
Decathlon, Southside Wandsworth, London
Decathlon at SM City Cebu

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, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mainland China, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and recently, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.[65]

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.[66] 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.[67] The first store opened in November 2017 in Tunis City commercial center in Tunis.[68][19][18][69] A second location opened in April 2018 in the country situated in La Marsa.[70]

In February 2017, they opened the first store in Bogota, Colombia in the mall Parque La Colina.[71]

In July 2017, Decathlon entered the Philippine market with a location at Festival Mall, Muntinlupa and at Tiendesitas, Pasig.[72] In August 2017, the company announced it would open its first Canadian store in Brossard, Quebec during the spring of 2018.[73]

In early-2017, Decathlon stores were opened in both Ghana and South Africa.[74] In November 2017, Decathlon entered the Indonesian market.[75]

Their first Australian store opened in Tempe, Sydney, NSW, in December 2017.[76] 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.[77]

In April 2018, the company announced it would open its first store in Kyiv, Ukraine, in the first months of 2019.[78] In November 2018, Decathlon opened its first store in Greece, Corinthe.[79][80]

In 2019, the company opened stores in Ireland;[81] Vietnam;[82] Bangladesh; Malta; and Serbia.[83] The company also opened U.S. stores in California, which later closed in 2022.[84][85] 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.[86][87]

In November 2020, the first Decathlon store opened in Riga, Latvia.[88]

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.[89]

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.[90][91] On 29 March, Decathlon announced that it has ceased its operations and suspended the operation of all its stores in Russia.[92] 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.[93] In May 2023, it became known that the Turkish company FLO Retailing and the Lebanese Azadea Group were negotiating the purchase of the Russian Decathlon. FLO Retailing has previously bought the Russian business of the Reebok chain.[94] As a result, the Russian government approved the sale of Decathlon to the Russian company ARM, which previously acquired the brand of the Spanish retailer Mango on a franchise basis. ARM promised to reopen all 35 Decathlon stores in Russia.[95] In December 2023, Decathlon confirmed that they are supplying a limited quantity of their products to ARM for a limited time period as part of the company's disengagement agreement in Russia in respond to a report that the company continued to supply their products to Russia through shell companies.[96][97]

In May 2023, Decathlon opened its eighteenth store in Morocco.[98] Later on 1 August 2023, Decathlon closed their physical and online store in Bangladesh, and shifted to sell their products through Daraz and Unimart.[citation needed] Later in September, it was announced that a new Decathlon store would open Trois-Rivières, Canada.[99] In November 2023, Decathlon opened in Beau-Plan, Maurice.[100] The same year, the opening of a fourth Decathlon store in Strasbourg was reported.[101] Also in 2023, Decathlon unveiled its plan to set up a new shop in the Cristal shopping center in Martigny, Switzerland. In December 2023, a new Decathlon store was opened in Tahiti.[102][103]

In January 2024, Decathlon opened its third store in Dublin, Ireland.[104][105] Later, in February, Decathlon unveiled its planned four further openings in Swiss city centers: two in Geneva, one in Vevey and one in Winterthur.[106] Indeed, it was announced that a new Decathlon store would open in Agy Centre, Switzerland.[107][108] Also in early-2024, it was reported that another store in Perpignan would be opening in March and it would be one of Europe's largest Decathlon stores.[109][110]

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.[citation needed] 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".[111] This dominant position has the effect of marginalizing its commercial competitors, including independent retailers.[112]

Competition[edit]

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.[113]

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.[114]

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 labour laws.[115]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]