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Decathlon on the Omni-Channel Move in Europe

Sales & Trends

PLOCHINGEN, Germany – Earlier this month Decathlon acquired Swiss sports store chain Athleticum, adding 21 locations to its store count in Switzerland and bringing the total to 23. A likewise rapid expansion is now announced by the world’s biggest sporting goods retailer for Germany. It fits Decathlon’s omnichannel market approach of a 100% online product availability, offering customers the possibility to order online and collect the order at a nearby store.

Decathlon on the Omni-Channel Move in Europe
Execution of Decathlon’s omnichannel strategy is now becoming apparent by the rapid expansion of the number of stores. – Photo Decathlon

Last February Decathlon’s omnichannel strategy was explained by the company’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, François De Witte. 

The execution of this strategy is now becoming apparent as Decathlon is on the move in Europe with a rapid expansion of its store-count. This already started in 2017. Last year the sporting goods retailer opened 185 new stores bringing the total to 1,352 outlets in 39 countries. Looking at the rapid expansion of Decathlon stores in Switzerland and Germany, this year will probably see even more Decathlon stores.
Decathlon’s 2017 turnover stood at over 11 billion euro. The in Lille, France based sporting goods retailer is Europe’s biggest bicycle seller
with an estimated annual sales of over 4 million (electric) bikes in Europe.

Expansion in Germany

For Germany Decathlon announces to open 13 new stores before the end of this year. It will bring the total to a nationwide network of 66 outlets. Decathlon opened its first store in Germany in 1989. And Decathlon Germany is already planning beyond 2018. The expansion plans for 2019 include among others two furthers outlets in the federal capital of Berlin as well as an additional outlet in Munich.

Slowly growing online sales

Decathlon’s online sales is still minor. At least that was it in 2017. Deputy Chief Executive Officer, François De Witte said then “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. 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.”

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