French retailer Decathlon has garnered more revenue and has overtaken older rivals such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma in 2018. The brand’s strategy was more clever as they had created more awareness about fitness in the country and adoption by the average Indian of sporting disciplines other than cricket. With revenue of Rs 1,278 crore for the year to March 2018, Decathlon has also become India’s second-largest single-brand retailer after Xiaomi.
The brand made a profit of Rs 33.8 lakh, the first in India for the retailer that began operations in the country about a decade ago. With 70 large, warehouse-like stores, Decathlon’s product pricing is about 30-40% lower than competing products since it sells everything from running shoes to mountaineering equipment under its own brands. By selling only private labels, Decathlon controls almost every bit of operations, from pricing and design to distribution, and keeps its costs and selling prices low. The operating model has worked very well in India. The company sells more than 500 products catering to 70 sporting disciplines. In comparison to other brands who sell merchandise restricted to sports such as cricket and soccer. Over the past few years, India has demonstrated an increasing appetite for non-cricket sports, such as kabaddi, soccer, volleyball, hockey, and badminton. The country now hosts professional leagues in most of these sporting disciplines, drawing participants from across the globe.
Also, rising stars such as Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu (badminton), Hima Das (athletics), and Swapna Barman (athletics) have helped spawn the expansion of non-cricketing sports in India. German sportswear brand Puma, however, claimed that it is the largest sports brand in the country and doesn’t compete with any multi-brand sports retailer.