Shopping Centers Today International

NOV 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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only 37 percent of the company's rev- enue is earned in France. Decathlon is expanding internationally at a rapid clip because the ultralow price points that have made it so popular in Eu- rope also make it competitive even in India, where it now has 21 stores, and in China, where it has operated since 2003 and which is now home to 124 Decathlon stores. There are four in Tai- wan. "I think they have a huge potential to grow," said Vaschalde. Apparently, Decathlon thinks likewise: It plans to open between 50 and 100 stores in In- dia over the next five years, and as many as 400 in China. Analysts cite four factors they say give Decathlon the inside track. The first of these could be described as good genes: Michel Leclercq, a member of the Mulliez retailing family of France, opened the first Decathlon store in 1976. Leclercq and his Mulliez cousins continue to own most of Decathlon's holding company, Oxylane Group. The Mulliez family also owns the €44 billion Auchan hypermarket chain. Another advantage the chain enjoys is vertical integration: Decathlon sells mostly store-branded goods, mainly sourced from Asia and typically based on its own designs. Many of Decathlon's wares are incredibly cheap by European standards. Within France, they can be vastly cheaper than the branded version — a Lacoste Polo shirt in Paris can set a shopper back €95, while Decathlon's version is priced at €9.95. Whether a customer seeks an ar- chery bow, a judo belt or treats for a hunting dog, the chances are that De- cathlon's got it. "They have a huge va- riety of goods, especially for the edges of the sporting universe," Mueller said. All that space also gives the store plenty of room to set up lots of equip- ment. "It's fun to shop in, because you can actually see all products from all the sports," said Vaschalde. The fourth point of strength is knowledge. "The sales people are highly trained," said Gerardo Seeliger, a profes- sor of sports management at IE Business School, in Madrid. "They are mostly either athletes themselves in that par- ticular sport or people who on weekends do the sport, so they have very powerful insights into the product." And Decath- lon is well positioned to keep learning, because product managers see sales re- sults daily, and the company maintains a sizable R&D division, analysts say. The 60,000 employees include 2,600 in product development and roughly 50 researchers who register some 40 patents per year between them. S C T OPENING FALL 2017! Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss FREEDOM CROSSING AT FORT BRAGG In†roducing F A Y E T T E V I L L E , N C First dine-in movie theater in the Fayetteville market Restaurant spaces with abundant outdoor seating wrapping a lush village square common area Outdoor complex that will serve as Fort Bragg's new town center Access to more than 263,000 active & retired military personnel/families Second project in the Freedom Crossing portfolio - following Fort Bliss Visit Visit us at Texas ICSC - Booth #519 Dan Frey - 512.682.5507 Michele Gary - 512.682.5593 Adam Zimel - 512.682.5548 28 S C T / N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 5 r e T a i l i n g T o d a y

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