Decathlon, the sports giant has a sense of eco-responsible innovation
The Decathlon adventure began in 1976 in the suburbs of Lille. It was then the first-ever large area of self-service sporting and leisure items. Years later, the brand became a leader in the sports market. It thus brings together two sectors of activity: the creation of products dedicated to the practice of sport and their distribution. What forges the brand’s identity is the ambition to innovate. Indeed, innovation has always been present in its values. By innovating on a daily basis, the brand has been able to impose itself among all sportsmen and women by becoming a true partner.
Decathlon innovates for soft and sustainable mobility
Since its creation, the company has continued to develop its offers in favor of sports practice. A key player, Decathlon goes even further, by announcing a project entirely designed in-house… An electrically assisted cargo bike that allows you to move easily, and to replace car trips, especially for shopping. An alternative as ecological as it is economical, but also good for health.
Decathlon has not yet given much information regarding the upcoming bike. But many know the brand’s commitment to a greener and more sustainable approach. Using an electrically assisted bicycle with a payload allows its owner to move around the city on a daily basis without being disturbed.
An innovation of the future, which already seems to seduce many customers, ready to afford a bike of the Decathlon brand, in favor of mobility and respect for the environment. In the city, networks of bike paths are multiplying to allow everyone to move freely, and safely…
Innovation at the heart of Decathlon’s product strategy
Innovation is therefore the key factor of success that has brought Decathlon to its current position as a leader in the sports market. This desire to innovate has always been a core value for the brand. However, it took on a more concrete dimension with the arrival of the brand’s brands in the 1990s. Domyos, Btwin, Nabaiji, Wed’ze, Starboard, Kipsta… Through these brands, the brand expresses itself, whether in terms of design, research and development or new technologies. During the creative process, each product is studied to become the clever, practical and singular product.
The Decathlon recipe is a winner since the brand is equipped with flagship products anchored as references in the collective minds of consumers. One thinks in particular of the Tent “Two Seconds” Quechua. A real revolution for camping, it was the first tent to stand in 2 seconds thanks to its clever structure. More recently we have seen the appearance of a product that has been a huge success, the Easybreath. The 1st Snorkeling Face Mask in the world that allows you to See and Breathe in the water as on land! (1)
Constant renewal to satisfy athletes and trends
Behind this desire for innovation, there is a desire to give everyone access to sport. By placing proximity with users as the main source of inspiration, the brand can create more than 2800 products on average per year (2). Thus the brand offers products designed for athletes, innovative, and above all financially accessible.
In addition, thanks to the opinions, Decathlon never stays on its achievements. The brand wants to evolve its products over time to always stick as close as possible to the expectations of its customers. there is no end to the innovation process(1). It thus integrates a dimension of improvement and durability into its products, while opting for renewable and less polluting materials for example. This is how the brand wants to be part of the new wave of Ecodesign.
Decathlon, innovating for the environment
Thus, in its approach to innovation, Decathlon integrates the environmental dimension. It is true that nature is the main gym of all sportsmen, be it hikers, divers, runners, cyclists or so many others. The preservation of the environment is therefore an all the more important issue for athletes. The sign understood this.
Thus, it wants to adapt its production to meet these new challenges, it then speaks of eco-design. That’s how the Quechua brand is committed to reducing its environmental impact. Thus, it now has more than 60 products that benefit from this eco-design approach. One thinks in particular of tents that are fully repairable. By 2026, it wants to see its catalogue made up of 100% eco-designed products. (3)
The sustainability of the products is also at the heart of the concerns of Decathlon’s hunting division, based in Gironde: Solognac in Cestas. To meet the expectations of hunters, engineers, designers and modellers ensure that products tick all the criteria of use, quality, durability and cost.
Beyond its internal commitments, Decathlon goes further to support its desire to serve the environmental cause. This is how we saw the latter join the initiative “Companies committed to nature”. This initiative of the French government, which brought together 38 companies, aims to integrate a continuous improvement program in favor of the preservation of biodiversity through a dozen principles. We can mention two central ones. Firstly, the awareness and training of employees about biodiversity and its relationship with their trades. Then the integration of biodiversity into dialogues with public authorities.
We also see the brand carry out actions through its brands. For example, let us resume Quechua and its #GREENHIKER, a voluntary cleaning of the trails (4). Indeed, on the occasion of the World Clean up Day on September 19, 2020, all the stores organized a waste collection! It was an opportunity to play sports by making a gesture for the planet! We remember in particular the eco hike of 6 kilometers organized by the Decathlon de la Teste de Buch in May 2019 to clean nature while walking.
A strong commitment to sports
Decathlon has kept its desire to innovate and take risks to offer new products to all athletes over time. The brand has never based itself on achievements as shown by its desire to evolve its products over time. Today it is faced with a new challenge, the environmental issue. The brand is committed to this and puts all its ingenuity at the service of the environment.
Diversify sports activities to offer ever more successful products to its customers… This is the turn that Decathlon has decided to take for many years. The brand is attentive to the feedback of its customers, practicing an activity in leisure or competition. She is all the more involved in the care given to the products she creates and markets, as well as for the variety of sports she covers.