Designing innovation for all

For Decathlon, the innovation mindset is the key designed to open the doors to sport for everyone, right across the world, regardless of their chosen activity or standard. For this reason, the teams responsible for design are concentrating on innovations that primarily serve a function, so as to continuously keep our users excited and satisfied.

If our prices seem low, that’s because of our “Smart Cost” strategy. Our design and production procedures are largely integrated, and so as to make sport accessible to all, Decathlon is spearheading design methods that focus on controlling costs at every level of the value chain.

in 2016

A summary

• At our Decathlon Innovation Awards, Quechua’s rapid inflation/deflation airbed won first prize.

• We held our first Hackathlons, which proved a real success among our teammates and other participants from outside our company.

• We have extended the activities of our crowdsourcing platform, Decathlon Creation, which now offers trials to its members.

“Smart Cost” solutions

To keep prices affordable for customers, the first solution involves optimising our transfer prices . Teams boasting a variety of skills consult with each other and tackle each product stage in the value chain2, thus adopting a 360° degree approach. They analyse a product’s global situation and identify the stages in which substantial savings could be made, without affecting other costs. These savings are passed on to the user, who pays less for their products, while their perceived value remains the same, and might even increase.

For example, for the BTwin HB 500 water pouch, teammates noticed that the greatest savings could be made by modifying the pouch components and by optimising logistics flows. “Smart Cost” savings for this product range are considerable: the price of the HB500 model fell from €29.95 to €19.95 in just 18 months.

“Thanks to the experience we’ve racked up by managing our optimisation programme, I’ve been able to implement a method that should allow us to share and profit from what we’ve learned. This is an essential component of Smart Costing. We currently have a team of managers who are experts in specific processes and techniques, and they share their knowledge with any product manager keen to reduce the price of their product ranges.”

Manager of the "Smart Cost" programme

Decathlon Innovation Award 2016

As is the case every year, Decathlon organises its Innovation Awards ceremony, where teammates and users are invited to vote for the year’s most innovative product. The 2016 award went to Quechua’s rapid inflation/deflation air bed!

Decathlon SportsLab

While brands are focusing on their users and their needs, the R&D centre, known as the “Decathlon SportsLab”, is concentrating on how the human body works and its requirements. Together, they are designing innovative, customer-friendly products that provide better safety while promoting user well-being. Decathlon’s R&D centre employs some 50 engineers and researchers.

« Decathlon Creation: from crowdsourcing to trials »

In September 2016, the “Decathlon Creation” community extended its co-designing platform, offering product trials to its 16,000 members, all of whom are sports enthusiasts. In just three months, 2,000 testers had signed up for a whole series of trials, for example on tennis shoes, and new solutions for repairing bike tyres or handles.

This initiative has brought our design teams and sports users closer with stronger links being forged, a process that will continue throughout 2017 and beyond.