Decathlon rethinks US market approach
In 2017, French sport retailer Decathlon made its come-back on the US market by opening a store in California. Now, Decathlon has decided to close down the two stores it operates in the USA, in order to focus on local e-tail activity and on partnerships with US retail distribution groups. The new strategy has been confirmed by Decathlon's US subsidiary, as reported by specialist magazine Sport Guide.
“We are changing our business model in order to respond to current market conditions and to better address the needs of our customers,” said Christian Ollier, managing director of Decathlon USA.
“It is clear our products are well-received on the American market, and we have recorded unprecedented growth in the last few years. But to progress in healthy fashion, we must adapt and prepare the Decathlon of the future. While we are closing down our physical stores, our products are always available on the Decathlon website and at a growing number of retailers,” added Ollier.
The products of the group owned by the Mulliez family are distributed for example at Walmart, Curated and Target, retail chains that are present throughout the USA. The two Decathlon stores that are closing down are both located in the San Francisco Bay area, a megastore in Emeryville and a city store in Potrero. The decision's impact on local jobs has not been commented on by Decathlon.
Before the renewed attempt in 2017, Decathlon had been present in the USA between 1996 and 2006, on the country’s East Coast. In North America, Decathlon does have a brick-and-mortar presence in Canada, where in three years it has managed to open only 11 stores, which will be soon bolstered by the opening of a city store in the centre of Toronto.
The Decathlon group operates 1,718 stores worldwide. In 2020, it generated a revenue of €11.4 billion, down 6% on the previous year, and a net income of €550 million. The group has not yet published its 2021 results, but at the start of this year it appointed a new managing director, Barbara Martin Coppola, who will start in her new role in March.
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