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Competitor for Decathlon?

Sales & Trends

PARIS, France – A new sporting goods retail giant has just been created in China. The company is called USG Sports and will compete with Decathlon, which has been very successful in the fast emerging

Competitor for Decathlon?

PARIS, France – A new sporting goods retail giant has just been created in China. The company is called USG Sports and will compete with Decathlon, which has been very successful in the fast emerging Chinese sports market.

According to ‘Sporting Goods Intelligence’, trade publication for the sporting goods sector, USG Sports was formed as a new company in which four big Chinese sports retailers (Shanghai Rui Li, Shenyang Peng Da, Sichuan Jin Lang and Shenzhen Ling Pao) were merged. Those four operated over 3,000 outlets in 22 provinces.

There are renowned names behind this new force in China, including major shareholder and former CEO of Adidas Robert Louis-Dreyfus through his United in Sports private equity fund; Sandrine Zerbib who up to 2007 led Adidas China and Dan Loeb, former MD of Nike China.

The Sporting Goods Intelligence report says that, coming just over two months before the opening of the Beijing Olympics, the deal is meant to provide a wide platform for international brands seeking to penetrate the Chinese sports market, set to become the second-largest in the world.

USG Sports estimates that China’s sports footwear and apparel market was worth about $5 billion at the retail level in 2008, excluding cheaper brands and retailers. The four merged networks make up more than 20 percent of this business. The concept behind USG Sports is to invest further in quality sports retailing, which is still a relatively new sector in China.

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