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The global fashion business journal

Jan 27, 20209:45am

Decathlon: founder’s son exits the group after supporting the sale of third-party brands

Matthieu Leclercq, chairman of the supervisory board, has resigned from all positions due to the disagreements with the Mulliez family, also a group shareholder. Decathlon posted sales of 11 billion euros in 2017, up 10%.

Jul 3, 2018 — 5:00pm

Decathlon: founder’s son exits the group after supporting the sale of third-party brands



Decathlon, a family fight for selling or not third-party brands. Matthieu Leclercq, chairman of the group’s supervisory board since 2012 and founder’s son, has resigned from all his roles within the company due to strategic differences.


Leclercq had a contrary view on the decision taken by majority group shareholders, the Mulliez family, to stop selling international brands such as Nike, Adidas or Puma in Decathlon stores. The measure, aimed to focus the company’s own brand portfolio, moved on with the Mulliez’s support, as they own a 45.5% stake in the business, compared to the 44.5% share of the Leclercq’s dynasty.


The conflict among shareholders had dragged for at least 18 months and appeared after Decathlon’s business evolution in the French market, which accounts for a third of total revenues. Facing a growing competition from companies such as Amazon or Primark, Decathlon has been boosting its own brands against third-party labels for the sake of larger margins.





Leclercq was in favour of a less radical solution, as he believes that the absence of major brands will have a negative impact on both revenues and market share, according to the Challenges magazine.


Decathlon sales grew by 10% in 2017 thanks to its expansion abroad. Last year, the French retailer achieved a record turnover of 11 billion euros, compared to 10 billion euros in 2016. International sales increased by 13.4%, while its French business grew only by 3%.


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