The Retail Trade In Sporting Goods

The Retail Trade In Sporting Goods

Sporting goods trade is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the retail trade, and has been growing steadily over the past two decades. Thus, its turnover increases in value, but also in volume.

An important and growing potential clientele (increase in the number of licensees in sports federations, marked growth in practices outside sports clubs, etc.), the “35-hour” effect, the increased interest in health and Well-being, the strong presence of sport in the media, the enthusiasm for green or outdoor recreation (water sports, hiking, mountain biking, snow sports, climbing …) are all factors conducive to the good performance of the sector . In addition to this buoyant environment, higher spending on sports and leisure items was supported by lower consumer prices for these products.

Sportswear is a particularly buoyant segment (nearly a third of the sector’s turnover): thanks to their advertising campaigns involving sports personalities or major sporting events, major brands are on the rise. All distribution channels (including the major retailers, which until now mainly broadcast their own brand, such as Décathlon) are renewing their concepts to integrate a major brands offer.

The specialized trade dominates the market (75% of the market share) and has for several years adopted an offensive strategy (launches of new brands, the declension of concepts for downtown areas, advertising, partnerships for major sporting events, Stores associating products and areas of sports practices …) which allows it to face the exacerbated competition that affects the profession. However, the sporting goods trade continues to attract many entrants: large-scale retailers and department stores (Galeries Lafayette with its Andaska brand) which launch sports banners, as well as manufacturers who are seeking to profit Of the success of their brands by launching their own sales outlets (Adidas, Aigle, Lacoste, Puma …).

In this context, most small isolated traders have already disappeared. Only joining a group will allow them to maintain themselves by offering the biggest brands negotiated by central purchasing organizations.


The enthusiasm for outdoor sports (especially for water sports, where the purchase of equipment represents a significant proportion of the turnover of professionals in the sector) and sportswear will continue to support the growth of the sector, Especially its profits from the sale of clothing and footwear to the detriment of equipment. Branded products will boost the industry’s growth rate, and single-brand businesses are expected to be successful

The organization of the market

– Specialized trade : it dominates the sector with almost 80% of the market.

The major retailers in the sector (Decathlon, Go Sport, Sport 2000, Intersport) capture 3/4 of the turnover of the specialized trade.

Independent networks are dominated by the Sport 2000 and Interport cooperatives, which alone account for 20% of the sector’s turnover.

Some major brands develop their own exclusive distribution network (Adidas, Reebok, Nike, etc.). They are mainly positioned on sportswear.

– Non-specialized trade : it includes both supermarkets, department stores, ready-to-wear stores, traditional shoemakers and distance selling.

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