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Decathlon (France) steps it up in Flanders

In 2016, Decathlon funneled over EUR 7 million into the construction of a brand-new distribution center in Willebroek, Flanders. In addition, the French sports retail chain – which opened its first store in Flanders in 1997 – will open 15 more outlets and has plans to organize its Belgian and Dutch e-commerce activities in the region. These bold ambitions earned Decathlon a nomination for Foreign Investment of the Year at the Foreign Investment Trophy 2017.

“As a sports retail chain, we create, manufacture and sell our own sports articles,” explains Koen Tengrootenhuysen, Director Real Estate at Decathlon Belgium. “85% of the items in our stores are products we designed and produced ourselves, resulting in exclusive yet reasonably priced sports articles. That’s how we distinguish ourselves from our competitors and broaden the market. After all, our mission is to make sports accessible to as many people as possible.”

Logistics for the win

Logistics quite literally plays a key role in making something accessible. Koen Tengrootenhuysen knows this all too well: “We’re increasing our logistics space in Flanders from 35,000 to 40,000 m2, perhaps even to 47,000 m2. Our new distribution center totals an investment of nearly EUR 7.5 million: between 2 and 2.5 million for the building, and 5 million to make the distribution center operational.”

The new and bigger distribution center in Willebroek enables Decathlon to accommodate increase in demand. In addition, Decathlon is looking to establish its e-commerce logistics for Belgium and the Netherlands in Willebroek as well.

Facts and figures

  • Parent company: Decathlon SA
  • HQ: Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France
  • Annual turnover worldwide: EUR 9.1 billion
  • Established in Flanders since: 1997
  • Number of employees in Willebroek: 398

More info

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Reported by
Flanders Invesment & Trade
6 February 2017

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