The French sports article market is doing well, with good opportunities in the medium term. However it is a very competitive market and newcomers do not hesitate to implement aggressive strategies. In 2003, the French sports article market was the most important in the whole of Europe with a global turnover of 8.4 billion euros. There are 3800 stores specialised in sports and leisure articles in France: in 2003, their turnover amounted to 5.8 billion euros. The first five specialised stores (Décathlon, Intersport, Go Sport, Sport 2000, et Techniciens du Sport) alone make up for more than 80% of this turnover. As seen in the graph, the sales of sports article grew by 4.2% in 2003 while the growth was quite limited at the end of the nineties. Large distributors such as Décathlon, Go Sport, Intersport, and Sport 2000 largely contributed to this phenomenon since their average turnover grew by 8.3% the same year. Small retailers: They offer small ranges of products but at higher prices. The small retailers represented 2.9% of the market share in 2000 and they had an estimated turnover of 137 million . The typical stores in this category are: Les Techniciens du Sport, Running Conseil, and all the specialists of cycles.
[...] From the design of a product by the designers in Sallanches to its production by its 2500 subcontractors mainly located in China, it takes 5 months for clothes and 18 months for a technical product Go Sport's STP As Go Sport is one of Décathlon's main competitor, we find it relevant to study its STP and compare it to Décathlon's. Go Sport's strategy is to be an internationally recognized brands partner and distributor. In-house brands only represent 22 to of its turnover (against 56% for Décathlon). [...]
[...] For the products themselves, all the supplying departments have been modernized: the introduction of bar codes has permitted to track raw materials, finished products. Stocks and the “just-in-time” have been generalised Environmental : The ecological matter has become an important issue and big companies have to comply with a certain number of regulations Legal : As the boundaries are opening in certain parts of the world (Europe, North Africa, some countries in Asia), the big tendency is to outsource and set up fabrication units abroad. [...]
[...] -High turnover Marketing -Being distributor of its -Advertising focuses on own products enables Decathlon and not on the Décathlon to know brands of the group. customers better, to see how they react to new products and then give feedback to the designer/producer teams for improvements. -Partnership with professional athletes who test products. -Family image. -Decathlon produces more present in its shelf spaces. -Control of the distribution and supply networks. -Human Resources -Demanding policy of recruitment: salesmen have to be young and practise sport. [...]
[...] What most matters to them in a choice of a product are its technical characteristics and the positive impact it can have on their performances. These consumers tend to prefer brands that can guarantee them products of high quality proved by their constant involvement in sports at high level and by their partnerships with professional athletes. “Fun/Extreme” practice: this category mainly concerns the younger generation who seek in the practice of a sport strong sensations and fun. Their favourite sports are snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, skiing and so on. [...]
[...] Décathlon is quite efficient concerning the functional criteria but fails to convince consumers that its products can also be fashionable. Décathlon is popular (most people know the brand and have already bought at least one product in a Décathlon store). But quite a few young people still perceive the brand as being of low range quality, not innovative and old- fashioned (see questionnaire analysis in appendices) Presentation of Décathlon's in-house brands Décathlon's own brands represented 56% of its sales in 2003 while they represented 52% in 2002. [...]
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