Our fundamentals
I GUARANTEE SAFETY
Our long standing focus on testing emergency exits illustrates the fact that the safety of our teammates, partners & users comes first. Our business will never go beyond the safety of our employees, our users. Beyond physical safety and the safety of our products when in use, there is the social security and well-being of the people concerned, which means kindness, not harassment, adequate hours, fair remuneration. Every leader is fully responsible for what makes sense locally and makes sense for Decathlon United.
I HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
Improving the environment is important to everyone and to our partners, everyone does what makes sense for them locally. We have always worked for simple, stylish and timeless products (quality, design, durability, recyclability, components and processes). Making products that go out of fashion, does not make sense. With our signed sports, we have to work the product designed for a sport that suits other practices. This courageous battle to reduce our number of super models by sport, starts with the the design of outfits with super models from other sports. We encourage lasting relationships with our industrial partners, so that they invest for the long term and in the environment. Everyone is aware of the impact their actions have on the environment.
WE RECRUIT PASSIONATE SPORTS PEOPLE
People are at the heart of our project, what unites us is sport and passion. Passion can also be expressed outside of sport (gardening, cooking, cars…). A passionate likes to share his passion. He/She is generous. We have a great chance that our purpose (making sport accessible) is aligned with the sports we practice in our personal lives. We take advantage of our meetings to practice sport together.
SATISFIED SPORTSPERSON, THAT'S MY JOB
The desire to treat my user as my best friend is written on our badges since 1976. It means having a true communication (no sales pitch) and a focus on the usage (no useless sales to the user). I build trust with our users that makes me proud when I share what I do with my loved ones, after a hard day's work.
I TRUST MYSELF, I TRUST OTHERS
Confidence often comes from someone who has positively acknowledged what we have done. Up front confidence gives a real responsibility to our co-workers, they can act, test and adjust. I may not agree with an idea but express confidence in the Decathlonian who commits him/herself. I have simple relationships, whether as a leader, contributor, expert, to reinforce our confidence
I TAKE ANY DECISION AS CLOSE TO THE USERS AS POSSIBLE
We created Decathlon without using consultants or recruiting external experts. We trusted "teammates", who take accountability for the consequences of their decisions, with short cycles, "A to Z" responsibilities and in contact with users. When impulses comes from above, it takes time and quickly becomes demotivating. We are fighting for tests to be impulse and driven as close as possible to the field, in line with a local vision and ambitious challenges. "Advice Process": In my role, I decide (and sign) alone after listening to the experienced, the technical experts, my leader and the users concerned. This produces, for example, beautiful and fresh products contrary to compromise or "soft" consensus.
I REGULARLY ASSESS MYSELF
The main benefit of the monthly individual meeting and the weekly P&L by sport is that everyone is the first actor of his/her evaluation. These two "how" full of meaning and regularity, are not optional. I realize by myself by debriefing. I decide with whom I want to regularly exchange and I decide the content. Our tools and leadership techniques are developed thinking that people are capable, good. Decathlonians need accurate and truthful information from the first to the last day. Leaders encourage internal promotions, on merit, for those who contribute to the human and economic results. Regular self-assessment helps to speed up the cycle of my initiatives and the correction of my mistakes.
I TRAIN MYSELF AND I TRAIN OTHERS
One of the illustrations of putting the people at the heart of the project is training. A new recruit is often very motivated but with little skill. Investing around 6% of the staff costs on training is a way to develop the performance and employability of our co-workers. Performance is (motivation) x (competence). Training develops both! The trainer learns a lot, which is why we are all encouraged to be an in-house trainer.
I ENCOURAGE 'ZIG ZAGS'
The zig zag allows our potentials to discover a new sector (logistics, production, finance, store …) if possible before becoming a leader. Our leaders of tomorrow will have had the chance to experience several industries at Decathlon.
I DARE 'TOO EARLY', AND I AM ALLOWED TO MAKE MISTAKES
Since we love zigzag, internal promotions and recruitment of sports people with no experience, our experience shows that motivated people quickly develop their skills. By inspiring them and giving them our trust, they will take responsibility, they will try, they will make mistakes, they will learn and they will correct their mistakes. Our leaders have had experience with users, products and employees, so the majority have worked in store at some point during their career.
WE SEGMENT BY USER
Our focus since 1976 has been the sports person (the footballer, the horse rider ). Unlike other distributors, we avoid segmenting by brand (Nike, Adidas …) or by type of product (clothing, shoes ..). We design and sell outfits by sport or by sports practice, it's even more true on the internet. It is a decision taken to have a clear offer, with a minimum of duplicate products to allow
massification, common process and components. By users (the Decathlonians) for users.
I SIGN OUR PRODUCTS BASED ON "QUALITY OF USE" / UNBEATABLE PRICE
Our users come back time after time above all for our products! These are designed by us by observing the conscious and unconscious needs of our users in action. We design them to be simple, good looking and stylish with nothing left to be removed. We are much cheaper at comparable quality because we have fewer super-models and we have more users. Products, communication etc are signed by the people who created them. Signature is a good way to communicate and incarnate each one's sincerity.
WE LOWER PRICES THEN WE LOWER COSTS
Since the beginning, low prices have been our way of making sports products accessible to as many people as possible. Lower prices lead to lower margins, which then forces us to have low costs by looking at every cent spent on design. Lowering prices increases the quantities sold. Larger orders, which are better spread over the year, enable economies of scale on our components, lower production and logistics costs. To guarantee our profitability with low margins, we work every day towards a fast stock rotation. The constraint of a simple offer forces us to be creative and is one of the most effective means to achieve a fast stock turnover.
WE SHARE THE VALUE CREATED
Even though our base salaries are reasonable to allow us to absorb any drops without firing, we have implemented employee shareholding so that value creation can be shared. We know that the personal investment of a team mate, of a shareholder is longer term. Everyone can say "I". What drives us is that the user comes back tomorrow and not what he buys today. Sharing is also about finding long term win-win solutions for our partners and communities. The shared value is also derived from my performance: "leader locally to be the world leader"
WE INNOVATE
The Decathlonian leader expects from his team: product innovations, organizational changes and strategic choices inspired by the global vision. The color of our stores changed from blue to white because locally it made sense to avoid the heat of the sun, then the white was retained elsewhere for the visibility of our stores. This shows that since 1980 an innovation which is taken on the ground, locally in contact with our users has the best chance to succeed. I benchmark, I test on a human scale, directly with our users without too many formal meetings. The omni-commerce platforms per sport (sharing our passion brand products, users and playing areas in each city) are today a good way to innovate locally.
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