Home/ Sports / Sports News/  Decathlon looks to further widen domestic  sourcing  of  components

NEW DELHI : French sports goods retailer Decathlon S.A. has decided to source 85% of its products sold across 103 stores in India from domestic suppliers by 2026, up from 60%, Deepak D’Souza, production director, Decathlon Sports India, said.

“During the covid crisis we realized it’s much more advantageous to have local procurement within the country," said D’Souza, as the covid-led lockdowns disrupted global supply chains, affecting manufacturing, distribution and transportation of goods.

With mobility restrictions impacting supplies of products and raw material, retailers and manufacturers of goods had started strengthening local supply chains and production.

Decathlon has, however, been sourcing products from Indian suppliers even for exports since the late 1990s. It used to initially source textiles and horse-riding equipment, but gradually diversified into other categories. It had also set up its own stores to tap into growing demand for sports goods in India.

Around 70% of the textiles, 80% socks, and 95% bikes sold at its stores are manufactured locally. It also sells made-in-India hockey sticks, sleeping bags, and cricket bats and 70% cricket apparel, besides metal and plastic scooters for kids, outdoor equipment, bottles, fitness bands, balls, nutrition products and fixtures.

The company plans to manufacture more than 80% of the components used to assemble a Decathlon bicycle in India by 2025, apart from tents sold at its stores.

D’Souza said over the years India has developed the ability to manufacture more technical sporting goods, and quality of materials has also improved. Earlier, it was restricted to textiles and basic sporting goods, he said. “Now, it brings a huge opportunity to diversify our product range by reducing the lead time by making in India. We see many firms investing. Product ranges are also diversifying beyond cotton. We see a lot of technical wear and synthetic shoes being produced in India," he added.

“For a lot other products, such as plastic, metals, rubber, electronics, food nutrition as well, there’s a lot of backward supply chain that is already available. This gives us huge opportunity to diversify our product range," D’Souza said.

Decathlon got a licence to operate single-brand retail stores in India in 2013. Earlier, it operated wholesale and business-to-business stores in the cash-and-carry format. Today, the company operates large-format stores selling gym equipment and camping products, besides sportswear and shows, and has four warehouse and 95 manufacturing partners.

Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Updated: 12 Aug 2022, 06:15 AM IST
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