Sporting goods
Company name: Décathlon
Company size: Large
Company web site: http://www.decathlon.com
Date of Foundation: 1976
Nr. of Employees: 250<

Case summary:
Décathlon is the largest European distributor of sporting goods and has developed more than 19 brands in about ten years. Each Brand relates to a specific Market Segment, defined in terms of activity (e.g. hiking) rather than in terms of Products (e.g. shoes). Décathlon does not have a marketing department, but instead a strong Design strategy. Product development is done in close collaboration with the sales outlets and testing facilities, this provides a unique feedback into the Design Processand enables them to be highly user centred in their approach. They also have sophisticated methods and tools to connect their Design teams and share knowledge about the user and future trends. The Process ensures that the customer gets innovative Products at the right value: PriceLeadership is a substantial component of the Design strategy. This strategy has been recognized by numerous Design Awards and drives the Growth of the business.

Founded in 1976 by Michel Leclercq, the Décathlon group initially established itself as a distributor of sporting goods and equipment with the ambition of making its products accessible to as many people as possible. In 1986, the group expanded its activities and launched the Decathlon product family. In 2001, with the creation of the finished goods brands, design became a major area of investment and essential ingredient in the company’s development. In line with its initial ambition, the company has developed a broad range of technical products at very competitive prices. Today, the proportion of own-brand products marketed by Décathlon stands at around 70%, against 50% seven years ago.

Oxylane Group, the Décathlon group’s new corporate identity, has a presence in 24 countries outside of France. The group, which has 40,000 employees, has become Europe’s leading distributor of sporting goods. The distribution network is made up of over 400 shops, and in 2007 the brand generated turnover of almost € 5 billion, of which nearly half was accounted for by exports.
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