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Decathlon innovation to optimize your sporting experience

Decathlon development teams design 90% of the products sold in stores and online. Through product feedback and customer suggestions, the teams are able put forward impressive innovations that offer successful solutions and affordable sports products.

Behind each product is an idea, a need – whether from athletes, customers or employees – that come to life in the minds of the design teams.

Making an average of 2,800 new products each year, it demands creativity and ideas that question the evolution and future of sports. This process is made possible by observing athletes as well as everyday people using Decathlon products.

Decathlon innovation to optimize your sporting experience

Design teams at Decathlon

Structure of design teams

Design teams are made up of designers, engineers, product managers and technicians. They work together through the production stages to create innovative solutions and intuitive products that make the practice of sports comfortable and easy!

The integration of the design process within the teams makes Decathlon products unique and distinctive.

Collaborative processes

Specialized members within each design team come together to create operational efficiency: where quality technical skills transform into product innovations.

Importance of cross-functional teams

Building on collaborative processes, cross-functional teams are able to tackle innovation challenges through a shared network of expertise.

The design centre serves as a gathering place for ideas, observation and product conception that can go forth to create solution prototypes that best meet the sports needs of customers.

Decathlon innovation to optimize your sporting experience

Design innovation at Decathlon

Decathlon development teams design 90% of the products sold in stores and online. Through product feedback and customer suggestions, the teams are able put forward impressive innovations that offer successful solutions and affordable sports products. 

Emphasis on user-centered design

As a leader in sports equipment, Decathlon strives to have a positive impact on both current and potential customers — whether you’re an athlete or looking to try a sport for the first time.

There are over 500 designers dedicated to innovation for performance, innovation for quality and innovation for sustainability.

Integration of sustainability in the design process

The first eco-designed product was created in 2008 – the Sibir 300 fleece – made from recycled plastic and fibres. This set a precedent for sustainable production, creating a positive environmental impact while still meeting consumer needs.

In 2019, the Minimal Waste Design project was launched, reducing both waste and material consumption at the design stage, proving the power of innovation.

Use of advanced technologies in product development

While the design teams focus on users and their needs, the Decathlon SportsLab research and development centre focuses on the mechanics and needs of the human body.

Decathlon SportsLab is equipped with precise measurement and analytical tools specific to the fields of movement, temperature control, body types and human behaviour.

Through this scientific experimentation and observation, design teams are able to identify the causes of discomfort and injury. In turn, these innovation facilities create quality products designed for optimal performance.

Decathlon innovation to optimize your sporting experience

Quick-pitch innovation

The next stage in the research and development process is prototyping and testing. Every product component is studied – whether it’s the fabric of a jersey or the handle of a fishing rod.

Rapid prototyping techniques

Starting with drawings and mock-ups to assess users’ perception of the product, multifaceted teams create functional prototypes based on the research and knowledge collected both in design centres and field tests.

At the Villeneuve D’Ascq campus, over 3,000 prototypes are produced each year. The prototyping workshops are made available to teams to observe and test components alongside finished products.

Iterative design process

The goal is to give life to product innovations with their own identity, impact, functionality, unique materials and design – or all of these combined.

The industrial departments are organized around different processes: textiles, footwear, plastics/composite/metal, electronics, agrochemicals and optics.

These specialized teams hold expertise in the selection of materials, design constraints and durability, as well as market availability and supplier know-how. This makes for speedy and seamless execution – from the design to prototypes to testing.

Testing and validation methods

The Kipstadium, near Lille, offers 45,000 sq m of space dedicated to team sports, while the mountain sports store is located at the base of Mont Blanc. The water sports centre is located in Hendaye, fittingly by the ocean. These specialized centres offer a space for athletes to test the products while Decathlon teams can observe and adapt as needed, perfecting the final products.

There are even thermal chambers simulating rain, wind, cold and extreme heat so engineers and researchers can study the behaviour of the human body in relation to the equipment and clothing designed.

Decathlon innovation to optimize your sporting experience

Technical sports products

Thanks to the rigorous design and testing stages, Decathlon is able to produce specialized technical sports products built for performance.

Specialized product categories

Decathlon has 9 specialized categories: Quechua for hiking and camping equipment, Tribord for water and wind sports, Rockrider for biking, Domyos for fitness, Kipsta for team sports, Caperlan for fishing and wildlife, Btwin for urban gliding and mobility, and Inesis for all things golf.

Additionally, Decathlon has 4 expert brands: Van Rysel for high-performance cycling, Simond for rock climbing and mountaineering, Kiprun for running gear, and Solognac for hunting and sport shooting equipment.

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