Excluded: Decathlon becomes a marketplace - Companies

Excluded: Decathlon becomes a marketplace – Companies

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The French brand wants to expand its assortment. From mid-November, it will allow around a hundred brands – local and international – to sell their products via its Belgian platform. A project that should quickly expand to other countries in the group.

It’s a small revolution for the French sports channel in the hands of the famous Mulliez family. If you visit Decathlon’s Belgian site from mid-November, you will see the arrival of around a hundred new brands. And then, will you tell us? A retailer who wants to expand their assortment, what could be more normal… Except that Decathlon does not do it in the most traditional way. For the group, this is actually a major change in business model.

Today, the brand mainly markets its own labels, with the major brands representing only 10% of its assortment. A percentage which is therefore set to increase considerably. Moreover, Decathlon has absolutely no intention of buying the new brands in question directly to sell them on its site. The group actually intends to operate as a marketplace. It opens its platform to selected brands, and it is the latter who take care of the delivery of orders, paying a commission on each sale.

More than 200,000 forward references

“This marketplace will allow us to increase the breadth and volume of our offer while remaining productive, explains Nicolas Deltendre, digital director at Decathlon Belgium. It’s impossible for us to quadruple the number of our references by continuing to manage everything, and then buying products directly to sell them is not the most productive process.”

Nicolas Deltendre, digital director at Decathlon Belgium, pg
Nicolas Deltendre, digital director at Decathlon Belgium © pg

Initially, around a hundred brands will sell their items via Decathlon’s Belgian webshop. International (Addidas, Santini, Reusch, etc.) and local (DECCA, Bioracer, Innerme, etc.) brands whose number will gradually increase. “The idea is not to embark on a race for partners, assures the manager. But we would like to be able to offer more than 200,000 articles in the long term (Decathlon’s assortment now fluctuates between 40,000 and 50,000 references, Editor’s note).”

“Neither fully open nor fully closed”

When we talk about marketplaces, several examples come directly to mind: Amazon, AliExpress, Bol.com, etc. We are clearly not on the same model. “Our marketplace will be neither completely closed nor completely open”, explains our interlocutor. Who schematizes: “More open than Zalando, but more closed than Amazon”. In reality, Decathlon selects partners who display the same philosophy, bring complementarity to to the existing offer and only sell sporting goods.”We do not de facto exclude any particular brand, specifies Nicolas Deltendre. The partners can also inject the products they want, sometimes identical, even if it is true that complementarity is important.”

Belgium is the first country in the group to launch this project, part of the technology underlying the tool having been developed here, in collaboration with the world leader in software solutions for marketplace Miracle. But from the beginning of next year, Decathlon should extend this new business model to other markets such as Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom or even Italy, and thus try to reposition themselves in an economy where the major platforms nibble every day few more slices of the pie.

It’s a small revolution for the French sports channel in the hands of the famous Mulliez family. If you visit Decathlon’s Belgian site from mid-November, you will see the arrival of around a hundred new brands. And then, will you tell us? A retailer who wants to expand his assortment, what could be more normal… Except that Decathlon does not do it in the most traditional way. For the group, this is actually a major change in business model. Today, the brand mainly markets its own labels, with the major brands representing only 10% of its assortment. A percentage which is therefore set to increase considerably. Moreover, Decathlon has absolutely no intention of buying the new brands in question directly to sell them on its site. The group actually intends to operate as a marketplace. It opens its platform to selected brands, and it is the latter who take care of the delivery of orders, paying a commission on each sale. the volume of our offer while remaining productive, explains Nicolas Deltendre, digital director at Decathlon Belgium. It is impossible for us to multiply the number of our references by four by continuing to manage everything, and then buy products directly to sell them n It’s not the most productive process.” Initially, around a hundred brands will sell their items via Decathlon’s Belgian webshop. International (Addidas, Santini, Reusch, etc.) and local (DECCA, Bioracer, Innerme, etc.) brands whose number will gradually increase. “The idea is not to embark on a race for partners, assures the manager. But we would like to be able to offer more than 200,000 items in the long term (Decathlon’s assortment today oscillates between 40,000 and 50,000 references, Editor’s note) .””Neither totally open, nor totally closed”When talking about marketplaces, several examples come directly to mind: Amazon, AliExpress, Bol.com, etc. We are clearly not on the same model. “Our marketplace will be neither completely closed nor completely open,” explains our interlocutor. Who schematizes: “More open than Zalando, but more closed than Amazon”. In reality, Decathlon selects partners who display the same philosophy, bring complementarity to the existing offer and only sell sporting goods. “We do not de facto exclude any particular brand, specifies Nicolas Deltendre. The partners can also inject the products they want, sometimes identical, even if it is true that complementarity is important.”Belgium is the first country in the group to launch this project, part of the technology underlying the tool having been developed here, in collaboration with the world leader in marketplace software solutions Mirakl. But from the beginning of next year, Decathlon should extend this new business model to other markets such as Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and Italy, and thus try to reposition themselves in an economy where the big platforms nibble a little more piece of the cake every day.

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