Excellent year for Decathlon thanks to strong expansion

Excellent year for Decathlon thanks to strong expansion

Decathlon passed the 10 billion euro milestone for the first time in 2016. Thanks to a strong international expansion, it now surpassed the 11 billion euro mark.


11 % turnover growth

The sports retailer, controlled by the Mulliez family (which also has Auchan, Phildar and Pimkie), managed an 11 billion euro turnover in 2017, excluding taxes. That is a good performance in a year described by Decathlon France’s CEO, François De Witte, as a “transitional and transformation year” in an interview with French business paper Les Echos.


There was also a 4 % like-for-like turnover increase, mainly thanks to its strong global expansion. It opened 185 new stores last year, including 9 in its home territory, bringing the total to 1,352 in 39 countries.


France and online “have to do better”

France still contributes nearly a third of turnover, with 3.4 billion euro, but the chain is facing difficulties in its home territory. Despite the fact that it has become France’s “favourite store chain”, surpassing Amazon, its like-for-like turnover only grew 1 %. Including new stores, there was a 4 % growth. The CEO says there is “room for improvement”.


The chain’s online sales are also not up to scratch: they only contribute 4.5 % of its total sales, which is more than the 3 % established in 2016, but still… “One in five customers still cannot find the product he saw in the store”, De Witte explained. A new plan has to solve that issue: 100 % of its product range has to be available online, up from 90 % now; click&collect has to be introduced, allowing people to order at home and pick up their order in a store; delivery times have to be reduced (both for store and home deliveries).