VILLENEUVE D'ASCQ CEDEX, France (31 March 2000)--French sporting goods giant Decathlon has finally entered the A-brand bicycle arena. From the middle of
May on France's largest bicycle retailer will be selling K2 bikes in its French stores alongside its own branded bicycles.
"We will begin by offering three K2 models," says the director of Decathlon's bicycle division Marc Teychene. "In the beginning these models will only be sold in selected French stores."
The move is not entirely unexpected, as Decathlon's main competitors on the
French market, Go Sport and Carrefour, recently adopted their own A-brand
lines with Mongoose. Less clear is why Decathlon chose K2, a relatively small player on the European bicycle market. Though Teychene refrains from comment, the fact that Decathlon offers other K2 products in its outlets undoubtedly played a role.
For K2, the deal represents a chance to boost bicycle sales in France and
perhaps eventually throughout Europe via Decathlon outlets.
In terms of sales, Decathlon is Europe's largest sporting good retailer with sales exceeding US$2 billion. The French retailer trails only the Swiss Intersport, the American Food Locker and the German Sport 2000 worldwide. (JW)