“Aldi des Sports” – André Weinert does not like the label, which is rather practical. Decathlon is “anything but a discount”, contradicts the boss of what is now the largest retailer of sporting goods in this country, even if one can read something else in view of tennis rackets for ten euros or sports pants at five euros. After all, Decathlon offers a wide range of goods, advice and services, which is different from the Aldis of this world.
The French group has been selling sporting goods in Germany since 1986, but it is only now that the company is holding its first press conference. It was hard. What Weinert announced was a declaration of war on established industry, Intersport, Sport 2000, Sport Scheck and whatever their names are. By 2026, Decathlon wants to more than double its turnover in Germany to 2.5 billion euros, 60% of which will then be generated via a new online store. The current 84 German stores are expected to grow to 110 within five years. And Decathlon no longer just wants to be a reseller. The 80 or so own brands will keep their names, but they will now be linked to “Decathlon” as a global label.
Its main owner is the Association Familiale Mulliez (AFM), a conglomerate of the French Mulliez family, which is also involved in the Auchan supermarket chain and the clothing retailer Pimkie. In order to achieve its objectives, Decathlon is involved in a sport as a sponsor, as a supplier to the International Biathlon Union (IBU) and the 2023 World Cup in Oberhof. Decathlon is also returning to professional cycling. André Weinert did not even exclude the involvement of renowned athletes as testimonies.
“We are moving from a sports retailer to a sports platform,” he said. As such, Decathlon wishes to focus mainly on the fields of cycling, outdoor, fitness, water sports and sports fashion; The brand should therefore remain invisible on football pitches. The main target groups are children, families and people under 40.
Not only the specialist trade, but also the manufacturers of sporting goods should hear the announcements with interest; So far, only Adidas (plus) and Puma (minus) have worked with Decathlon among the big players. Nike sells almost nothing in French chain stores. Decathlon is both interesting and dangerous for manufacturers. On the one hand, the booming sports store chain cannot be ignored, on the other hand, Nike, Adidas and Puma prefer to sell their products online themselves or through traditional specialty retailers. Above all, he must find something for the offensive so as not to lose more ground.