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Decathlon’s way of cutting costs and increasing customers

Decathlon way of increasing customer
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This largest sports goods retailer company needs no introduction. We all are fascinated with the best quality products at such affordable prices.

Decathlon, a french based company thoroughly dominates the sports retail market worldwide and has been a steady growth in India.

Sport for all – All for sport

The company intends to make sport accessible to every person in the world. The company believes in the transformative power of sports. The best way to do it is to provide the customers with the best products at the best prices. 

So is quality compromised to reduce cost? The company knows its way through all. For 40 years, Decathlon has led the way toward high-quality and low-cost products. The company maintains the best value to price ratio. 

How does the company manage to provide such affordable products?

Innovation is central to the company’s continuous drive to make sports accessible to all.

Research and Development-

The decathlon has a constellation of self-owned Brands, each of which is as unique as the sports they are centered on. The founder Michel Leclercq first created his own bike frames and sold them under the “Decathlon” brand. Inspired by the success, the company now follows the same process to expand its touch on other sports and is called “Passion Brand”. Today the company owns 25 labels and covers more than 70 sports. Like Quechua company of Decathlon produce sports goods for hiking.

By bringing the brands in-house and having passion brands work under one roof, the company manages research and development resources. Being hyper-specialized in every sports category is the power of Decathlon.

Being the most efficient and innovative decreases the price.

Integrated Design –

Designing mass-market products smartly lowers the costs. Users are provided with the best quality products considering each sports specifications and knowledge of design teams. The company optimizes materials, components,  shapes, and quality to be efficient. Every design team is located where their sport is frequently practiced to observe and collect feedback from users. 

Validation first strategy

The products are made by sportsmen for sportsmen. Decathlon uses its own community to build products to solve customer’s pain points. The easy breath mask was an innovative idea from the project manager, a scuba driver himself. The suggestion came when he observed swimmers struggling between their snorkel and their mask.

The company values customer feedback and insights. A few years ago, they came up with “Decathlon creative”, a sharing platform for users to submit a product idea. Decathlon will produce the idea with enough votes from the community. Only passionate sportspeople are recruited from the cashier to the store manager. Production-wise, the team continuously comes up with innovative ways to improve processes and simplify the design.

Omnichannel strategy-

Along with more than 1,000 stores, and strategic warehouses around the world, Decathlon sells its products at 30-40% lower prices than the Competition. The company has dominated big names like Nike, and Adidas with a strong digital presence of more than 14 websites and 32 mobile applications.

Manufacturing- 

Decathlon has long term partnerships with the best industrial suppliers. The company is committed to sustainable development. Scoring the fabrics, exercising chemical risk prevention, and measuring carbon emissions to ensure safer manufacturing. Being selective means greater productivity without compromising core values like improved time to market and enhanced risk management.

Logistical organization-

Higher prices at the expense of the planet aren’t worth it. The company adopted a cashless policy as well as eliminate packaging unnecessarily such as no shoe boxes. Decathlon invests in logistical organizations like storage, transportation, and automation, thereby reducing cost and environmental impact. Even warehouses are located within close proximity to the stores to have efficient and low-cost shipping.

Users First-

Customer satisfaction is the priority which is reflected by the 365-day return policy. The sports leaders interact with users, collect feedback, connect users with the right options, and relay suggestions directly to the brand. Products reviewed less than 3 stars are optimized to meet customer’s expectations. The company strives to deliver the best experience both online and in-store.

Business model-

The company’s integrated business model means low margins and higher quality. Decathlon doesn’t have any non-integrated importers. The brand relies on exclusive partners so that there is no accumulation of margins to fall on users. Low margins mean lower prices for customers. The brand takes “smart costs” into account. The company doesn’t sponsor teams and saves at areas to deliver the promise of great prices.

Decathlon believes in bridging long-lasting relationships with customers. By making sports gear and equipment easily accessible to all, the company offers an affordable option for around 70 different sports. 

There is no mystery behind Decathlon’s rising story. It all comes down to having the best products. Passion brands, creative products based on customer feedback and customer satisfaction are key to Decathlon’s success. So, the next time you think of purchasing a sporting good, be assured, Decathlon has it all in-store.

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