Decathlon continues to segment and specialise own brands

Over the last two decades, Decathlon firmly established its own labels, such as Kipsta, Artengo and Kalenji, as benchmark for its customers. In the last two years, the French sport retailer started to introduce an even finer segmentation, in order to create labels that are more clearly defined by sport. For example, Tribord (which caters to the water sports world) spawned Subea (diving), Itiwit (paddle sports) and Olaian (surfing), and more new labels are now being created.


Decathlon's dance collection - Decathlon


"From a total of 25 own labels in 2014, we are now covering nearly 70 [sport] categories, and the objective within the next 2 to 3 years is to 'label' about one hundred sports," said Romain Thiebaud, Product Engineer for Kipsta. Decathlon wants to do so by creating smaller, more responsive concepts, able to address customer expectations more specifically. Kipsta for example, which previously covered all team sports, is now focusing on football only. Basketball is the preserve of the Tarmak label, and Decathlon is planning to launch a specific brand for its augmented rugby range this year.

"Our own labels are multiplying in order to become hyper-specialised. Our objective is to make our range even more relevant to sport practitioners, notably by studying them even more closely," said Maïder Ugartemendia, 'dialogue leader' for water sports at Decathlon.

Nabaiji, the brand dedicated to pool sports, will split up, creating a new line focused on aquafitness, whose name has not been disclosed yet. The latter will be separate from the swimming range (which remains under the Nabaiji label), and will feature an apparel and equipment collection for aficionados of aquagym, and of pool-based cardio and muscle training. "The idea is to freshen up our aquagym range, introducing durable apparel with a more contemporary style," said Nathalie Bourdon, leader of aquafitness sports at Decathlon. "The category is designed for a variety of activities, from physical fitness sessions to muscle toning and active recovery. We are also keen to appeal to male customers."

The range for dance, gymnastics and yoga, currently covered by the Domyos brand, is also set to segment into six sub-categories. The Dance by Decathlon brand has been created, to include all types of dance styles, from contemporary to zumba, hip hop, etc., and not ballet dancing alone. "We needed to make a strong statement, in parallel with the restyling of the entire range, featuring a much larger colour palette, more contemporary cuts and a refreshed communication style," said Sandra Bareiss, leader of the Dance category. The name 'Dance by Decathlon' is actually provisional, until a fully fledged brand will be introduced.

It is worth noting that by relying on its own-brand range, Decathlon has managed to keep its prices at the lower end of the spectrum, while developing different pricing segments. The group, which was created in 1976, designs, produces and distributes all of its products independently. Initially, they were all labelled 'Decathlon' but, in 1997, the sport retailer, now worth an annual revenue of €10 billion, began to diversify by introducing the Quechua and Tribord lines, which have become household names in their own right.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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