Sports brand Decathlon is starting a pilot project with French online giant Carrefour, in Italy, to open concessions in several of its supermarkets in Milan. The new spaces will offer sports and nutrition articles, with the goal of extending this partnership, centered on well-being and food.
In France, Decathlon operates concessions in the Franprix and Auchan stores as well as at Carrefour Belgium stores.
"This follows on from several other similar ventures in France - Decathlon has opened 'corners' in several Franprix supermarkets (part of the Casino stable) and Auchan hypermarkets. Decathlon is the market leader in French sports retailing and looks well placed to benefit from the increase in keeping fit at home rather than visiting gyms or health centres, which is likely to be one of the more enduring behavioural changes from the Covid-19 epidemic. It has reported that its online sales grew from 7% to 30%, during France’s lockdown, and since the relaxation, this has settled at 15%. Another recent initiative is a trial bicycle rental service, with no long-term commitment, in Paris and Lyon (the test starts with five models, for subscriptions between €15 and €75 per month). This looks to tap into the increased engagement in cycling in big cities that followed the return to work.
We're seeing more and more tie-ups like this with grocers partnering with specialist non-food retailers in France, as the leading players look to find ways to make better use of space in their under-performing hypermarkets. Carrefour for example is trialling spaces with Fnac, Darty, Aubert (childrens’ products) and Noa (pet food), Auchan is experimenting with Boulanger and Electro Dépôt electricals concessions, while Géant Casino has opened Cdiscount showrooms in several stores."