French sports chain Decathlon will open its first store in Israel on August 29 in the G center in Rishon Lezion. The 3,000-square meter store will have 60 departments in various sports categories.
Founded in France in 1976, Decathlon expanded to Germany and other countries a decade later. One of the world's largest sports chains, Decathlon currently has 78,000 employees in 1,221 stores in 32 countries worldwide. The company finished 2016 with a €10 billion sales turnover. Its sales grew 50% in 2006-2010.
What is special about the chain is that its stores cover thousands of square meters, while its prices are competitive. It sells an especially broad selection of products, including sports shoes and fashion and sports equipment in every branch of sports, among them tennis, diving equipment, and even food supplements for athletes. The chain also has private brands Toboggan and Decat, which offer products at discount prices.
Decathlon's attempt om 1999 to enter the US market was unsuccessful, and the company shut down its business there after seven years.
Decathlon's entry into the Israeli market is expected to spark intense competition in the local sports market, which is controlled by a few players, features higher prices than in other Western countries (especially the US), and has an annual turnover of over NIS 2 billion.
Decathlon is the third international sports chain to enter Israel. The first was Foot Locker, which operates 3,400 stores of 300-400 square meters each in 23 countries. Foot Locker specializes in sports fashions, and emphasizes fashionable sneakers, rather than professional running shoes. Foot Locker is slated to open 12 stores in Israel by the end of the year.
Intersport, on the other hand, has 5,400 stores of 500-1,000 square meters each in 43 countries and a sales turnover of over €11 billion, as of 2015. Intersport plans to open five independent 1,000-square meter stores in Israel, in addition to sports departments in 30 branches of the Hamasbir Lazarchan chain.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 13, 2017
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