Decathlon, the world's largest sporting goods retailer, is no stranger to setting pioneering trends and implementing transformational change to best respond to the needs of their customers. Their marketplace strategy is no exception. After launching a Mirakl-powered Marketplace in Belgium in late 2020, the company has now launched marketplaces in both Italy and the UK, and as part of its international strategy is set to launch a marketplace in more countries in the coming months. Below we take a look at what drives this Platform Pioneer’s marketplace strategy. 

Making sport accessible for the many through marketplace

A family-owned company founded in 1976, Decathlon is inspired by the belief that the best sports products should be accessible to everyone.

With over 2000 stores in 59 countries, the international sports retailer is constantly looking for ways to evolve to meet sports fans' growing needs for specialized products at the best possible prices. A digital transformation trailblazer, Decathlon understood early on the importance of the marketplace to allow them to scale their offering. 

With the launch of the Belgian marketplace in October last year, and the recent launch of their marketplaces in Italy and the UK, Decathlon is staying ahead of the curve as their business model continues to successfully adapt to the ever changing retail landscape. The Mirakl Marketplace Platform - a combination of proven marketplace technology, expertise and ecosystem - allows a tailor-made environment that easily adapts to the specific characteristics of each local market.

By integrating new sports and onboarding new specialized brands and products, the marketplace will enable Decathlon to respond to growing demand from sports fans while staying true to their brand DNA and also expanding the current customer base. 

Decathlon UK - combining the biggest names in sport with local UK brands

Through the Decathlon UK marketplace, thousands of new products will sit alongside Decathlon’s in-house products on decathlon.co.uk. Decathlon has selected partners that share its values of quality and accessibility. These include some of the UK’s top independent sports brands, distributors and resellers, as well as some of the biggest names in sport from Adidas to Speedo, ensuring the most technical and desirable products are available for their customers.

The Decathlon UK team is excited that a number of local UK brands will be joining the marketplace as sellers, including: Donda Cycling, a London start-up that prides itself on creating honest, accessible apparel for the everyday rider; Pendle Bike Racks, where products are designed, manufactured and tested at the company’s home in Nelson, Lancashire, England; and Corkspace, an independent family-run yoga brand on a mission to promote sustainability, where for every new eco-friendly cork yoga mat made, the company plants 10 new trees in partnership with the Eden Project.

Ashley Milns, Decathlon UK Marketplace Business Developer, spoke about the new marketplace, “Our mission is to sustainably make sport accessible to the many and our new Mirakl-powered Marketplace allows us to improve our current range whilst opening up new categories, catering for an even wider range of customers. We’re very proud of our in-house passion brands, and the innovation and quality they offer. However, we want to be able to offer UK customers the best choice of sports products and we believe our marketplace will achieve this”.
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Decathlon Italy - a marketplace to become the top online sports destination in Italy

By adopting the marketplace model, Decathlon Italy aims to become the top-of-mind sports marketplace in the country. The new marketplace will also play a big role in increasing the offering of eco-designed products, in turn contributing to the overall company’s goal to achieve 100% product development with an eco-design approach by 2026. 

Thanks to a curated and scalable approach made possible by the Mirakl Marketplace Platform, Decathlon also aims to welcome hundreds of new third-party sellers on its marketplace by the end of the year.

Luca Boldrin, Marketplace Country Leader, Decathlon Italy, commented, "We look to partners who share our values. In a relationship of trust and mutual growth, we want to build win-win relationships. Our goal is to reach a marketplace offer composed of leading brands and start-ups, which have innovation and / or eco-ideation at the center of their business strategy. We went to Mirakl because they have the best technology and expertise in the industry. With their support, we are launching with confidence and can operate a marketplace that best responds to our customers’ needs". 
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Does your organization want to follow in the footsteps of Decathlon and launch a marketplace? Contact the Mirakl Team to find out more. 

Eva Bearryman

Written by Eva Bearryman

Communications, PR & Content Manager

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