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Background to the Decathlon Brand and Network

At Planet Camping, we're very proud to be associated and indeed affiliated with Decathlon. Our own experience of the Decathlon brand is one of diversity in it's sector coupled with innovation and a lot of thought that has gone into their customer journey both online and in store. When you visit a Decathlon store, you enjoy a comprehensive range to browse, pleasant staff and a store that is clean, bright and colourful. Little wonder then that decathlon are one of the leading lights in the sportswear industry and constantly growing.

Decathlon started with a store in Lille, France. Its holding company name was formerly known as Oxylane. The Founder of Decathlon, Monsieur Michel Leclercq still owns 40% of the company to date. This family-owned company was founded in 1976, and inspired by the belief that the best sports products should be accessible to everyone.

A decade later the company expanded overseas and opened their first franchises in nations such as:

  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • China
  • India.

In the fast pace of today's business world they have over 1500 stores in 60 countries and regions, employ over 87000 staff from 80 different nationalities! Not surprising Decathlon is the largest sports goods retailer in the world.

The first Decathlon store to open in the UK was in Surrey Quays, London in 1999 and where the company's headquarters currently reside. Currently, there are 47 Decathlon stores within the UK.

See Location Map and Contact Details

The CEO and Person at the Helm of Decathlon

Decathlon appointed a new CEO in March 2022, Barbara Martin Coppola, replacing Michel Aballea, who held the role since 2015. Barbara Martin Coppola is a French and Spanish binational, with a very successful track-record of transforming and growing large scale companies globally. Prior to Decathlon she held leading positions in global business such as IKEA, Google, YouTube to name a few!

The Decathlon Focus

What makes Decathlon such a popular sports retailer are their innovative product range, great prices, engaging and efficient shopping experience, in-store and online.

Unlike their competitors Decathlon only offers sportswear and sports equipment and does not sell any, lifestyle products, the company wholely focus on the sportswear market segment.

Decathlon has a unique business model where they design, product test, manufacture and retail their own brands. They have a dedicated team for research and development of sporting equipment and goods. You can often read on each their products "our team of enthusiasts... developed...".

Their research and development team employs up to 700 people! With a dedicated product design and development team, the company is able to develop the latest innovative designs, and new designs of existing products  and registering up to 40 patents per year with each brand representing a different sport or group of sports.

Decathlon is quite unique in the way they stand alone in a world where sport, sporting goods and celebrities come under the influencers and social media umbrella. Decathlon do not hire influencers or run lavish advertising campaigns. The company actively works with its suppliers and by the end of 2021 their finished products and components suppliers totalled to 930, plus over 300 suppliers located in :

  1. Europe
  2. Russia
  3. Africa
  4. America
  5. Asia.

Decathlon owns 9 of these factories.

Decathlon's Second Life

You may already know that Decathlon launched an initiative called Second Life. and this is some of what Decathlon had to say:

"What is Decathlon’s part in this?"

"At Decathlon we’re also dedicated to sustainability, and we’ve made it our business to reduce our impact on the planet and give lightly marked sports equipment a second life.

That’s why we’ve launched our Second Life initiative, where our expert team of technicians repair a range of products, focussing on refurbished bikes, fitness equipment, kayaks, tents and many more. In a recent Decathlon survey, more than a third (34%) of Brits say they would be happy to purchase second-hand sporting and fitness equipment. We’re then able to offer these products to our customers at discounted prices to prevent them from going to waste."

Ever-evolving and high performance design, the best quality at the lowest possible price, and expert advice that customers of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels can access in-store or online, from anywhere, at any time, is what makes us who we are. And we’re pretty proud of that.

Decathlon Headquarters Location Map

Decathlon Head Office (London)
9 Maritime Street,
SE16 7FU

Tel : 0207 064 3000

Decathlon UK products:

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