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Story of Decathlon the largest sporting goods retailer in the world

Decathlon, a French-based company, who thoroughly dominate the market worldwide, has seen a steady growth in India. Let us take a look at their origin, inception and progress.

Last updated: 27.02.2019
Decathlon | Sports Social Blog

In recent times in India, the sporting industry has seen a drastic shift in terms of being a one sports nation to a multi-sport viewing nation. The upsurge in participation and engagement has led brands to ply their trade in several parts of the country and grow their business in sheer rapidity. India is the 7th largest economy in the world. Sports as a business is going through a massive cycle of change, which is headed towards a positive path. The nascent industry which is blooming at a steady rate has led to a great amount of growth in terms of education, health accompanied by fitness and most importantly, employment.

Among the various activities happening around a sport, the business of sports also segments into different branches. Out of which, one of the most prevalent sectors is Sports Merchandising. It is intriguing to know that in a recent survey conducted by the Global Licensing Industry Survey, the Indian sports licensing market for Licensed Retail sales was valued at a whopping $18 million USD in 2016. Now in India, due to the robust demand, the total consumption expenditure in merchandising is expected to grow by leaps and bounds and reach a hallmark of $3600 Billion USD by 2020 from  $1824 Billion USD in 2017. Surprisingly, the figures account for around 8% of employment generation in India. Also, India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination in retail space.

Among the various competitors in the sports retail market, Decathlon, a French-based company, who thoroughly dominate the market worldwide, has seen a steady growth in India. Let us take a look at their inception and progress:

The Firm Origin of Decathlon -

The decathlon was started back in 1976 in the beautiful city of Lille, France by Michel Leclercq. They eventually started expanding overseas after a decade by opening their franchises in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, UK, China, India and other nations. Astonishingly, they have  1500+ stores in 49 countries currently. The company employs more than 87000 staffs from 80 different nationalities. They own 20 brands under their belt which offers products in all variety of sports. Furthermore, Decathlon is the largest sports goods retailer in the world.

Decathlon in India -

Decathlon first established their franchise back in 2009 in Bengaluru. It was the first entity to incorporate a big-format niche retail chain in India. They soon expanded their stores in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh which had a great response. It took Decathlon no time to break even in India. Recently, Decathlon plan to invest a roaring 700 Crores INR to expand its business in India. Decathlon Sports India CEO, Steve Dykes said in an interview, "India is a priority country. We dream to open 100 stores in India in five years.” Also, the company sees India as a key market to expand their business as they termed India to be their top global market in terms of stores. Generally, Decathlon stores are huge- sprawling over at least 4000 square feet. In comparison, the other sports goods shops are tiny in size. Not only has Decathlon opened career opportunities for the sports enthusiasts in the country, but it has also helped to shape a sporting ecosystem in the country. Decathlon as an organization emphasizes product quality and they have 20 brands which cover 70 sports. The cost of the products is quite economical as well. In India, people are starved for entertainment beyond movies, restaurants, and malls. Decathlon has the potential to provide weekend entertainment alternatives as they offer to practice indoor sports in their enormous showrooms.

Values -

Decathlon has a dedicated team for Research and Development of sporting equipment and goods. With a dedicated product development and design team, they undergo various models of tests and develop the latest innovative designs, registering up to 40 patents per year. Each brand represents a different sport or group of sports. Decathlon’s main mission is to make sport accessible to every person in the world as they believe, the sport has the power to change the globe. As a company, they anticipate to help, inspire and guide through varied sporting experiences.

So, the next time you think of purchasing a sporting good, be assured, Decathlon has it in store!

Visit Website: Decathlon India

Video: Decathlon Purpose

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