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Decathlon’s Growth Strategy: Omni-Channel and More Brands

Sales & Trends

LILLE, France – For the sporting goods retail giant Decathlon, 2017 was a year of transition and a managerial revolution. Still the group announced an increase of its turnover by 4% in like-for-like sales to 11 billion euro in 2017.

Decathlon’s Growth Strategy: Omni-Channel and More Brands
‘Omni-channel is a revolution to which no one escapes’, said François De Witte, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Decathlon France. – Photo Decathlon

Sales growth was mainly driven by 185 store openings, including 9 in France, which brings the total to 1,352 outlets in 39 countries, 10 more countries than in 2016. “Including the new stores we generated an increase in turnover of 11%,” said François De Witte, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Decathlon France at the presentation of the group’s results last week at the company’s B’Twin village in Lille, France.

‘Modest figures’

“At 3.4 billion euro, Decathlon’s home market France still accounts for nearly one third of the group’s total sales in 2017. On a like-for-like basis the sales growth in France stood at only 1% and 4% including the 9 new shops opened last year. Modest figures,” said De Witte adding that “Decathlon has seen a revolution in its management. We transformed to a decentralized organization where the decisions are taken as much as possible by the local organizations in the countries where Decathlon operates stores and even in the stores themselves.”

Slowly growing online sales

The second important transformation for Decathlon is its omni-channel market approach. “Although the share of internet sales is still low for us at 4.5% in 2017 (4.1% in 2016), omni-channel is still a revolution to which no one escapes,” said De Witte. “Market research also shows that one in five customers said they had not found the product they were looking for in stores without checking it online first.”

To improve its customer service Decathlon wants to increase the online product availability from 90% now to 100% in the nearby future. Soon the sporting goods retailer will also offer its customers the possibility to order online and collect it at a nearby store.

New bicycle brands introduced

Decathlon finally announced to work on more segmentation in each sport with, for example, seven bicycle brands in total with more differentiation ranging from the weekend hiker to the professional. It also intends to increase the number of sports on offer and to accelerate new products design developed by its teams based on the needs of athletes.


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