Find out how Decathlon dealt with the pandemic and its growth plans for the Mexican market


Two months ago Miguel Angel Sánchez Candón became the new CEO of Decathlon in Mexico There the company has an ambitious growth plan with the aim of promoting the democratization of sport and solidifying the company as a trustworthy brand in its segment.

What’s your strategy Strengthen the omnichannel experience so consumers can be close to the brand through different touchpoints. “We expect several outlets this year and one with a different typology. There may be small stores around 3,000 or 4,000 square feet. We will intensify the development of digital solutions such as the e-commerce strategy and alliances with companies installed in Mexico to give Mexicans the opportunity to choose the best time and moment to enjoy their products, ”says the manager.

Find out how Decathlon dealt with the pandemic and its growth plans for the Mexican market
Find out how Decathlon dealt with the pandemic and its growth plans for the Mexican market

In an interview with Miguel Ángel shared with us how, despite the closure of physical sales during the quota, the brand found the necessary tool in digital sales to not only maintain total costs and keep the workforce of 370+ people, but also provide the opportunity has been creating new sources of employment thanks to the capital increase through online sales.

Sales through Decathlon México’s electronic platforms in 2020 doubled the preference of previous years and laid the foundation for strengthening what is now 7.16% of the brand’s total sales.

The pandemic has been a trigger for e-commerce in general, and in the case of Decathlon, no exception. “I usually say that crises are opportunities, and it has also enabled us to adapt,” he says. The plan for this year is to improve the omnichannel experience for customers.

How are you going to do it? Miguel Ángel says that in order to develop this experience, one of the fundamental points is having adequate logistics to ensure that deliveries are tailored to the needs of the customer. “It is fundamental and one of the points that we will develop further in 2021. We have alliances with local companies that allow us to deliver quickly or through new channels. We are no longer just talking about Decathlon’s e-commerce, we are talking about full computer support that allows us to have great solidity and a more fluid and successful experience. “

Because of this, the growth plan does not focus on opening stores, but on points of contact. The brand currently has 12 units in the country, distributed in the cities of Monterrey, Guadalajara, Querétaro, Mérida, CDMX, Torreón, Aguascalientes and the state of Mexico.

Miguel Ángel Sánchez Candón, CEO of Decathlon México (right). Photo: Courtesy

Solve customer needs

Miguel Ángel acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic caused important changes in consumers over the past year. The restriction led him to develop into sports that are practiced at home. “Fitness has been severely affected and the demand for all textile products has increased [ropa] and machines to train at home ”.

The practice of yoga and crossfit has increased, and as activity restrictions have been lifted, the practice of sports that allow contact with nature has increased, such as exercising. B. cycling or discovering the mountains.

“This year the pandemic is gradually starting to be controlled more and the Mexicans are moving more. There are team sports like soccer again and a certain normality is returning in the historical sports of the spring season like swimming or surfing ”, explains the CEO of Decathlon.

“We understand that sport has to be seen as an essential activity. It’s something that helps relieve mental and physical stress, activate you, and be in good shape. We are talking about health that has been confirmed as an essential activity even in Spain. It is something very important and it will continue to move forward. In Mexico we are trying to contribute a community that will grow, a community of athletes who will explain the good values ​​of sport for health, ”he said.

For this reason, they have intensified their analysis of the market and customer needs, which will help them to adapt even more to the local market, which is why they are expected to cover a larger market share in the short term and make sports accessible. for the greatest number of Mexicans.

How can you do that? Thanks to the fact that they develop innovative, environmentally friendly and high quality products, but always maintain affordable prices due to their business model in which they design, produce and market sporting goods.

The French company currently offers products for 65 sports, ranging from mountaineering to swimming. A total of 80 brands are added, including Quechua, Simond, Kalenji, Btwin, Domyos and Nabaiji.

“In the past, mountain sports have worked better with our Quechua brand. This applies to sports that, due to our quality and price, have a very good level of acceptance in all countries and in Mexico. They are products of excellent quality, innovative and safe and can be as simple as a backpack or a tent, ”explains the manager.

The decathlon experience

The new CEO of Decathlon in Mexico says that while the brand’s share of the Mexican market is still small, it has very interesting differentiators. In addition to product development in various sports, a customer must, for example, test their products for 30 days and be 100% satisfied or achieve a return.

Likewise, the guarantee of two, five and up to 10 years on some devices such as mountain backpacks or even the lifelong guarantee on bike frames

“”When I talk about Decatlhon I am talking about athletes and we are trying to capture athletes and the relationship we have with them for 44 years since the brand was founded in France. We are represented in more than 60 countries and on five continents. We are fortunate to be an integrated company. That is why we design, manufacture and sell products with which we can control the entire value chain. That is why the accessibility of sport is a big differentiation: the democratization of sport, ”he says.

Another important point is the obligation to protect the planet. “It’s in our DNA and we have a very strong commitment to our design team on over 3,000 products to create. For example, the Quechua fleeces consist of 75% recycled material. By 2026, we want to reduce and offset our impact on our carbon footprint by 40%. “

After 18 years of experience in the company and after working in countries such as Bulgaria, Spain or India, Miguel Ángel became the brand’s CEO for Mexico. Regarding this new responsibility, he assures that he feels very happy and is fully committed to helping Mexican society rediscover the benefits of the sport and making Decathlon a trustworthy brand for the country.

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