Decathlon in China
Decathlon is a French manufacturer and retailer of sporting goods, established in 1976. It provides to customers a wide range of products (clothing, shoes but also equipments) for more than sixteen different kinds of sports, from beginners to professionals. Through the years, Decathlon expanded its business abroad and in 2009, Decathlon had become the second top ranking sports retailer in Europe in terms of global sales. In addition to Europe, Decathlon had started to develop its own business in China, with a first retail store in 2003. Since its introduction in the Chinese market as a sport retailer, Decathlon had seen a rapid and successful growth. Indeed, in 2010, Decathlon owed more than thirty-three Chinese retail stores and about 5% of its global annual sales revenue came from China. However, in 2011, Decathlon China started to realize that its competitors were more and more aggressively using online branding to create awareness and were developing their own online shops. As a result, Decathlon China understood that it had to react quickly not be left behind because of its almost non-presence online. Indeed, Decathlon China, in contrast to the competition, was used to promote its business using traditional media, through promotions in local newspapers and TV. Moreover, Decathlon China was highly involved in public relations such as sport events with kids to create brand awareness, loyalty and generate a positive word of mouth. Decathlon China recognized that setting up its own online branding strategy was a priority and an opportunity to create more brand awareness, which means, a potential increase in sales in the short term, and maybe its market share in the long term.
What could be the online branding strategy of Decathlon in China?
As explained in the introduction, Decathlon China must set up its own online branding strategy not to be overtaken by its well established...