Decathlon (company)

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Decathlon SA

legal form Société Anonyme
founding 1976
Seat Villeneuve d'Ascq , FranceFranceFrance 
Number of employees 82,171 (2017)
sales 11 billion euros (2017)
Branch Sports retail
As of December 31, 2017

Decathlon branch in Istanbul

Decathlon is an international French manufacturer and retailer of sports equipment and clothing. The company, which was founded in 1976, has a range of more than 35,000 different sporting goods , mainly based on own brands , and offers equipment and clothing for over 70 sports. In terms of turnover and employees, the company is one of the largest sporting goods manufacturers and retailers in the world. At the end of 2018, the company had 1,511 branches in 51 countries worldwide. More than 530 engineers and 150 product designers work on the corporate campus in Villeneuve-d'Ascq (Northern France), developing up to 2,800 products each year and filing around 40 patents.


Michel Leclercq, a member of the French Mulliez entrepreneurial family , opened his first sporting goods store in Englos near Lille on July 27, 1976, thereby founding the Decathlon company. In 1986 Decathlon began manufacturing sporting goods under its own name. In the same year, the first store outside of France opened in Dortmund . The first production facility in Asia was opened in 1988. In 1996 the company launched the first two own brands: Tribord, a water sports brand, and Quechua, a mountain sports brand. In 1999, Decathlon opened its first stores in the United States and England. Decathlon withdrew from the USA after a few years due to the difficult market environment. The first branch in Asia opened on November 5, 2003 in Shanghai . The Decathlon Foundation was founded in 2005 and has supported social projects worldwide since then. The Decathlon online shop was launched in 2009. The eldest son of the company's founder Michel Leclercq, Olivier Leclercq, has been in charge since 2008. Since 2008 Decathlon has been a subsidiary of Oxylane SA, part of the Association Familiale Mulliez .

Group structure

The French Decathlon SA is u. a. represented by Decathlon Sportartikel GmbH & Co. KG in Plochingen . From here, the branches, logistics centers and the online shop are managed by ten departments and a total of 130 employees. The Decathlon Germany SE & Co. KG is responsible for both the online trading through its own online store and offline trading in the branches. Until August 12, 2019, online and offline sales of sporting goods at Decathlon Germany took place separately under the two companies of Decathlon Sportartikel GmbH & Co. KG and Decathlon Sportspezialvertriebs GmbH . The Decathlon Sports Special mbH served as a distributor of the sports GmbH & Co. KG , which acted as a holding company and headquarters. Both companies were merged in 2019. The Decathlon SA occurred from 2008 to 2014 under the name Oxylane on. The renaming was not well received in the French market, so a return to the original name took place.


Decathlon has over 1500 branches worldwide (March 2019) (compared to 1065 in 2016)

Decathlon branch in Neunkirchen

In Germany, the number of branches rose from 46 branches to over 65 branches in 2018; in October 2019 there are already 81 and 8 new openings announced for 2019. Decathlon has a logistics center on the site of the former Schwetzingen railway repair shop . There are currently 16 branches in Switzerland. Through a collaboration with Maus Frères Holding , all 23 Athleticum branches in Switzerland are to be renamed Decathlon branches in the future.

Own brands

There are currently 19 own brands for over 70 sports. The best-known passion brands include the cycling brand B'TWIN , which designs bicycles and bike accessories, and the mountain sports brand Quechua with products for hiking, camping, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.


Decathlon has been criticized for poor working conditions in production. Decathlon itself states that suppliers comply with social standards. In fact, there are reports that e.g. For example, twelve-hour shifts are common in production in Sri Lanka and workers do not receive any continued wages in the event of illness, although this is required by law in Sri Lanka. Suppliers there pay wages of at best 150 euros per month.

Web links

Commons : Decathlon Group  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Decathlon in figures., as of December 31, 2017, accessed on June 10, 2019 (English).
  2. [1]
  3. Oxylane is called Decathlon again. In: Textilwirtschaft , October 30, 2014
  4. Chiffres clés. Retrieved July 21, 2016 .
  5. Overview of branches. Retrieved October 4, 2019 .
  6. Overview of new openings. Retrieved October 4, 2019 .
  7. ^ Goodbye Athleticum: Decathlon grabs all Athleticum branches. Retrieved January 29, 2018 .
  8. Decathlon replaces the Athleticum am Dreispitz - does that mean the takeover? In: , July 11, 2018, accessed on July 16, 2018.
  9. Passion Brands. In: Retrieved November 20, 2017 .
  10. Karin Finkenzeller: Decathlon: If you are unlucky you have to sew hungry . In: The time . December 5, 2017, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed March 31, 2018]).