magasins decathlon

Small and large blue boxes

DECATHLON stores: a whole history!

Since 1976, there has not been a single DECATHLON store model. From small to large, a multitude of projects, sizes, concepts and experiences have been created.

The evolution of our stores

Isabelle, an architect at DECATHLON, shares with us some key dates in the evolution of the little company that became big.

  • premier magasin decathlon

    Opening a small blue box, which is still 1,000 m2. The blue color absorbs heat, the little box turns white. DECATHLON basics are already here!

  • agrandissement magasin decathlon

    1976 À 2010

    The little blue box is getting bigger! 
    We're pushing the walls of the stores, which are now 2,000, 4,000, 6,000 and even 10,000 square meters. Inside, no more shelves that look like those in hypermarkets. We create our own departments, in the image of our stores and our concept. Outside, large pylons topped with the DECATHLON sign replace the white facade and blue frame.

  • decathlon magasin

    2000 et 2002

    2000: The playground appears! Our customers now have their practice and play space inspacein our stores.

    2002: Our storefronts welcome the first posters of our passion sports!

  • decathlon magasin

    Our stores are getting bigger, so we're adapting! We're creating a path and direction of travel to help our customers find what they're looking for faster. The lighting is redesigned to enhance the head of the aisles. And the green carpet of our early days, which we keep only under the product to highlight it, gives way to concrete in the rest of the store.

  • concept decathlon

    2007 À 2015

    New retail formats and concepts! Stores on stilts with parking underneath, multi-story stores are making their appearance. In 2007, the first store with a sustainable development approach opens, with the ambition to reduce our carbon footprint.

concept decathlon magasin

Why is a DECATHLON store 6 meters high?

When the first DECATHLON stores opened, Benoit Poizat thought that if they went bankrupt, they could sell the building to a garage, provided that it met the standards. To adapt the size of the stores, he went to Peugeot to measure himself the maximum height if a car was installed on an elevator. Answer: 6 meters!

Our local stores

In the city center, in the countryside, on the beach, in the ski resorts or in the train station, our 3 small formats are the answer to your great desire for sports.

decathlon city

Decathlon city, the star of the city centers

It participates in the dynamism of large cities by creating a link between sportsmen and women, sports associations, and neighboring businesses. The little anecdote: some stores regularly transform into a gym where our coaches offer sports moments.

In image: a fitness class given in the heart of a DECATHLON City store.

magasin decathlon essentiel

Decathlon Essentiel, small size for small cities

1200 m2 maximum where you can find the essentials of all sports, in towns without a large DECATHLON store within 1 hour around.

In image: entrance to the DECATHLON Essentiel store in Agde (Hérault, France).

magasin mon petit decat

My little Decat, the modular container.

Meeting sportsmen and women, from beaches to ski resorts, Mon P'tit Decat is a place for sharing. Set up at sporting events, this nomadic container offers DECATHLON's flagship products. In 2019, one year after its launch, it has made stops at 30 destinations. Among them: the Flots Bleus campsite, the Running Show or the Girondins stadium in Toulouse.

In image: "Mon P'tit Decat" installed on the Arcachon basin for the Artengo Tour.

Our DECATHLON villages

The DECATHLON Village is a unique place to equip, practice and share.
Located in 9 cities in France, it is a place where you can walk around and play sports on free access areas: learning areas, collective sports fields, stadiums, etc.

It is in 2001, that this new concept is born: the first village opens in Bouc-Bel-Air, in the Bouches-du-Rhône (France):

  • DECATHLON Village de Bouc-Bel-Air

    The DECATHLON Village of Bouc-Bel-Air (Bouches-du-Rhône, France) seen from the sky.

  • DECATHLON Village de Bouc-Bel-Air

    Entrance of the DECATHLON Village of Bouc-Bel-Air (Bouches-du-Rhône, France).

franchise decathlon

There are 42 DECATHLON franchise stores

The first DECATHLON franchise opened in 2005, in Guadeloupe.

Today, there are 19 countries: United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, New Caledonia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Reunion Island, Corsica, Uruguay, Indonesia, Mauritius, Congo and Ghana.

Figures: 31.12.2022

The history of DECATHLON... it continues

Picture of a DECATHLON store

Our story

What is the story of DECATHLON? The key dates? who are the founders? How was DECATHLON born? the stages of DECATHLON communication?

Picture running track

Decathlon's story - our key dates

DECATHLON is a long story about sports, products, and especially, women and men. Read all about it here!


DECATHLON's founders : the gang of 7

Qui sont les fondateurs de DECATHLON ? Comment à débuter DECATHLON ?