I truly love going to a Decathlon store! Good quality to a very decent price! Me and my two sons have bought a lot of clothes and sporting goods in Decathlon’s stores here in Shanghai. Our favorite is the big one near Zhouhai Road but most are OK since they are all fairly large and stock more or less the same items.
Decathlon started with one store in Lille, France in 1976 and was founded by Michel Leclercq. The brand came to China 2003 and have had a rapid growth here with aproximately 220 stores today. This large amount of stores in China make this the 2nd biggest market for Decathlon after France.
As I see it there are some issues with a brand like Decathlon. Their success greatly contributes to the decline of independent retailers and its spread of its own brands causes difficulties for traditional manufacturers.
I am part of the problem as I am a regular customer in Decathlon, but it is really difficult to resist their competitive price and good quality. However, I am more than willing as well to pay some extra money for brands like Nike, Bauer or New Balance. So for me personally I hope for the success of both independent manufacturers and big chains like Decathlon . I am a loyal customer of both.