Decathlon Group

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Decathlon S.A.
Industry Retail
Founded 1976
Founder Michel Leclercq
Headquarters Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
Number of locations
1414 stores in 45 countries[1] (August 2018)
Key people
Michel Aballea (CEO)
Osvaldo Fusardi (COO)
Products Clothing
Sports equipment
Revenue Increase US$12.80 billion (2017)[1][2]
Number of employees
82,171 (2017)[1]
Subsidiaries Quechua, Tribord, Domyos, B'Twin, Kipsta, Nabaiji, Wed'ze, Simond, Kalenji, Newfeel, Artengo, Inesis, Geologic, Caperlan, Solognac, Fouganza, Oxelo, Aptonia, Geonaute, Orao, Subea, Outshock [3]

Decathlon S.A. (French pronunciation: ​[dekatlɔ̃]) is a French sporting goods retailer. With over 1400 stores in 45 countries,[1] it is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world.[4][5]

Decathlon started with a store in Lille, France in 1976, founded by Michel Leclercq. It started to expand abroad a decade later, to Germany in 1986, Spain in 1992, Italy in 1998, Portugal, the United Kingdom in 1999, China in 2003, India in 2009, Hong Kong in 2013, Malaysia in 2016 and Southeast Asia in 2012 and South Africa, Philippines in 2017 and Australia in 2018. The company employs more than 82,000 staff[1] from 80 different nationalities.

The retailer stocks a wide range of sporting goods, from tennis rackets to advanced scuba diving equipment, usually in large superstores which are sized at an average of 4,000m².[6] Decathlon Group also owns over 20 brands,[3] with research and development facilities all over France to develop the latest innovative designs, registering up to 40 patents per year.[7] Each brand represents a different sport or group of sports, with a dedicated product development and design team.


Decathlon Kalamassery in Kochi is the largest sports goods retail store in India[8]
Entrance of İstanbul store
Entrance of Dalian store
Entrance of Arnhem store
Decathlon, Southside Wandsworth, London

As of August 2018, there are 1414 Decathlon stores worldwide in 45 countries.[1]

Online delivery has been introduced in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Hungary, United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Italy,[9] Singapore, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Romania, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, and recently, Vietnam.

In India, Decathlon products can be bought directly through their stores subsequent to change in India's FDI policy and approval for Decathlon in February 2013.[10] 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.[11] The first store opened in November 2017 in Tunis City commercial center in Tunis.[12] A second location opened in April 2018 in the country situated in La Marsa.

In February 2017, they opened the first store in Bogota, Colombia in the mall Parque La Colina.[13] And last July 2017, Decathlon has opened its doors to the Filipino people located at Festival Mall in Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Philippines.[14] Their first Australian store has also opened in Tempe, Sydney, NSW, in December 2017.

In August 2017, the company announced it would open its first Canadian store in Brossard, Quebec during the spring of 2018.[15]

In April 2018, the company announced it would open its first Serbian store in Belgrade, Serbia during the spring of 2019.

Product ranges[edit]

The retailer develops and sells its own brands, which the company characterizes as "passion brands". Each sport or group of sports has a separate brand name:

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".[17] This dominant position has the effect of marginalizing its commercial competitors, including independent retailers.[18]


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 has been criticised for violation of social standards and local laws in the factories run by its contractors in Sri Lanka. Workers are forced to work over-long shifts and do not receive any holidays, even though local laws in Sri Lanka require paid holidays. Similarly, in violation of local laws, workers do not receive payment if sick.[19]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Decathlon in the world". Decathlon Group. Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  2. ^ "Largest Sporting Goods Retailer, Decathlon Boosts Ground-Level Distribution Visibility with LogiNext". Business Wire. Retrieved 25 August 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "Our Passion Brands". 
  4. ^ "Decathlon, known as 'the Aldi of activewear', will open first Aussie store in Sydney tomorrow". 4 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "Largest Sporting Goods Retailer, Decathlon Boosts Ground-Level Distribution Visibility with LogiNext". Business Wire. 28 September 2017. 
  6. ^ Caruel, Sarah. "Decathlon - Oxylane - Ox'IT". International Internships. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Decathlon Innovation and Research". Decathlon Group R&D. Decathlon S.A. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Decathlon India opens 1st retail outlet in Kerala". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 August 2018. 
  9. ^ "Decathlon - Acquista on line tutti gli sport su". Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "decathlon-enfin-en-tunisie-interview-avec-le-directeur-de-la-marque-en-tunisie". Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "#SportsForEveryJuan: Decathlon Philippines Opens At Festival Mall". Relatable Fitness. 2017-07-21. Retrieved 2017-08-14. 
  15. ^ "Decathlon Announces 1st Canadian Location". Retail Insider. 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2017-08-15. 
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Distribution : l'enquête secrète de Lagarde, Le Nouvel Observateur no. 2275, June 12, 2008
  18. ^ « 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.
  19. ^ [1], Zeit Online, December 6, 2017

External links[edit]