Business and retail news :Decathlon eyeing more growth in China !

The distributor of Decathlon sportswear (Oxylane group) in China wants to triple its presence there by 2015 through growth in second- or third-tier cities. That is the story being reported by the China Daily English-language newspaper, quoting Bertrand Tison, vice president of Decathlon China.

The company would build 150 stores over the next three years. "Around a third of our China sales come from first-tier city stores, but in the future, smaller cities will be the drivers of our growth," explains Bertrand Tison, whose objective is to move China from fourth to third place in the company's largest markets within five years. Currently France, Spain and Italy hold the top three positions.

The Oxylane group has not yet commented on this information but firmly denied reports published by the newspaper Challenges last April announcing the opening of 880 Decathlon stores in China by 2017. Industry insider Knut Jaeger says that Decathlon's Chinese market share among sportswear chains is at 20%. Jaeger is a specialist in sportswear for the Asian market and co-founder of the Friedrichshafen Outdoor trade show and its Chinese satellite Asia Outdoor.

In Oxylane’s publication of results for fiscal year 2011 in April, it announced the completion of 62 store openings in 2011, seven of which were in China where the brand had a total of 39 stores on December 31, 2011. The group’s annual sales totaled EUR 6.5 billion for the same year.

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