Key figures

Maintaining long-term relationships

Decathlon entrusts the production of its sports articles to a panel of suppliers organised by industrial process. Our local production teams, operating from Decathlon’s production offices and organised in a similar way, are in charge of day-to-day supplier relationships. Together with our suppliers, we share a desire to deliver the best possible value for money by working closely together using a common framework:

-Relationships built on mutual respect

-People development through empowerment, trust, training and a management style focused on creating a pleasant working environment

-Compliance with our standards and any legislation in force relating to labour law

– Achieving the highest levels of quality

-Raising price competitiveness by continuously making improvements to work efficiency

-Building a reliable, dynamic supply chain

-Using interconnected information systems

-Protecting the environment

-The very broad diversity of our product categories (textiles, footwear, heavy stitching, metal and plastic equipment, electronics, etc.) and the large number of associated manufacturing processes means that our supply chain is extremely complex.


By 2023, we hope to address this complexity by sourcing 80% of our products from 100 partner suppliers.

We already had 35 by the end of 2017.

« Production Team member: a key role »

Production teams forge relationships with suppliers on a daily basis working in areas such as quality, supply, industrialisation, sustainable development and continuous improvement.

Because they are in close touch with our suppliers, our production teams are responsible for maintaining the kind of collaborative, transparent relationship we want with all of our suppliers.

Decathlon sub-contracting figures
at 31/12/2017

Production offices

Decathlon has 43 production offices in 25 countries and works with suppliers in another 24 countries. Teammates may coordinate production in the country where they are located or in that country and several neighbouring countries as well.

Decathlon: a wide array of products, industrial processes and countries

We sell thousands of articles meant for use in a wide array of different sports. These products have multiple components and they are manufactured using multiple industrial processes. This means that we need suppliers who can not only manufacture products to our specifications, but who also meet our corporate responsibility and environmental requirements.

We distribute everything from tennis socks to metal golf clubs and electronic fitness trackers. The wide range of industrial processes and partners that are a part of our value chain creates a level of risk that we must identify, anticipate and control.

Organisation of the supply chain for Decathlon products

Our purchasing strategies have prompted us to create and coordinate a panel of suppliers with three categories:

– Our own production sites

– Our partner suppliers

– Our suppliers

Continuously improving production methods in our own factories:

Decathlon has 10 production plants where it manufactures some of its articles. The goal for these wholly-owned sites is to adapt our production methods and gradually develop industrial best practices (human resources management, continuous improvement working methods, organising flows, etc.). Along with our partners, these plants help create the Decathlon Manufacturing Way (DMW), which aims to develop an industrial standard to guide our teammates and industrial partners towards operational excellence. Our own sites are subject to the same requirements as our other suppliers.

Building long-term trust-based relationships with our partner suppliers:

The challenges facing the world today call for collaboration and transparency among people and organisations that share the same goals and vision.

“Decathlon partners are industrial entrepreneurs who share our vision, values and purpose. Their vision manifests as an industrial project in a region where we have long-term ambitions. When we work closely with these partners and build up trust, it motivates them to give us preferential and competitive advantages with an end goal of complete exclusivity.

Their sense of responsibility and drive to achieve continuous improvement, deeply anchored in their corporate culture, produce operational excellence with maximum independence. We include such partners in our in-house efforts and delegate a number of decisions regarding our users and customers,” explained Lionel Dias, Purchasing Department Process Organisation Leader and Olivier Desbats, Process Organisation Manager.

Part of quantities of products made by our industrial partners

In 2017, our 35 partners were not all at the same point in fulfilling these criteria, but our progress is encouraging:

More and more supplier projects are defined jointly;

Human resources management has improved, individual and collective skill levels have gone up both for our teams and for our partners;

Development time has been reduced, costs have improved, prices have gone down, supply chains are more reliable and reactive, etc.;

Our relationships with suppliers are increasingly transparent and based on sharing, with healthy reciprocal demands.


As a result, an ever-growing portion of our overall purchases go through our partner suppliers. By 2023, we hope to source 80% of our products from 100 partner suppliers.

Our suppliers: collaboration with high standards and performance.

These are suppliers who meet our requirements but with whom we do not pursue a strategy of exclusivity. We maintain relationships with them over several years based on continued trust and performance.

At the same time,

we pursue our local production development strategy with our suppliers so that we can better react to local market demand and reduce transport costs and environmental impacts. Our supplier panel and our distribution of volume follow total cost principles (also called TeCO: Total Environmental Cost of Ownership). The combination of these two strategies (local production and TeCO principles) allows us to build a supplier base that addresses our company’s global and local challenges.

Made In Brazil for Brazilian Retail: Not Available

Made In China for Chinese Retail: 93%

Made In Europe for European Retail: 20%

Made In Russia for Russian Retail: 10%

Made In India for Indian Retail: 45%

With the goal of designing and being proficient in the manufacture of increasingly satisfying sports equipment, Decathlon works not only with our suppliers (rank 1) but also with our suppliers’ suppliers (rank 2).

For Decathlon:

A Rank 1 supplier is one that has a contractual agreement with a Decathlon group company to produce or assemble finished/semi-finished products (manufacturing contract) or to supply raw materials or components (purchasing contract) who receives purchase orders from and submits invoices directly to that company.

A Rank 2 supplier is one that contributes to the Decathlon product value chain through a direct commercial relationship with a rank 1 supplier with whom they manage all purchase orders and invoices. the Decathlon group reserves the right to participate in the selection or approval of a rank 2 supplier while not intervening in the commercial and legal relationship between the rank 1 and rank 2 suppliers.

Celebrating long-term partnerships at the “World Partner Forum”

In October 2017, the “World Partner Forum” was held for the third time at the Kipstadium in Tourcoing, France.

The purpose of this event is to promote transparency, alignment, and exchange to help us build solid and lasting relationships with our partner suppliers, improving our joint performance.

Thirty-five partner suppliers and 13 future partners from 12 countries were in attendance. They discussed topics such as hyper-growth, industry 4.0 and best practices.

We were also able to present our Sustainable Development strategy and talk about the key role that suppliers play in its success.


These are genuine human relationships, based on trust, and we want to make them last. We took this opportunity to thank our partners and confirm our wish to work with them even more intensively in the years to come.

Lionel Dias
Lionel Dias
Purchasing Department Process Organisation Leader