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Decathlon expands European presence with acquisition of German outdoor retailer Bergfreunde

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Through the deal, signed on 24 November, Decathlon intends to support Bergfreunde’s leadership long-term, fostering continued development and growth. The collaboration is anticipated to yield benefits for Bergfreunde’s dedicated customer base, partners, and internal teams.

Decathlon’s decision to acquire Bergfreunde is said to be part of wider attempt to expand its footprint in the European outdoor equipment sector.

Bergfreunde already has an established presence in 11 European countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK, along with its European e-commerce platform.

GlobalData apparel analyst, Louise Deglise-Favre explained that the acquisition will also allow Decathlon to further explore other price positionings within the market given that Bergfreunde’s product offering is more geared towards premium price positions.

Aligned with Decathlon’s development strategy, Bergfreunde presents an opportunity for Decathlon to tap into new customers through a fully digital business model.

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Deglise-Favre said: “From Bergfreunde’s perspective, Decathlon will likely help future-proof the business thanks to its robust financial and operational positions.”

Bergfreunde will remain a subsidiary under its established brand, with no immediate changes to its business model, and the current management team will retain their positions. Deglise-Favre believes this will be the “best decision”, so that neither one of the brand’s images is diluted.

Barbara Martin Coppola, CEO of Decathlon, commented on the strategic partnership: “With a strong presence in several European markets, including Germany, Europe’s biggest outdoor market, Bergfreunde will add to our ecosystem, alongside Alltricks.

“We are determined to accompany Bergfreunde’s teams as they continue to accelerate their development to the benefit of their customers and partners.”

Matthias Gebhard, managing director of Bergfreunde added: “We look forward to benefiting from Decathlon’s leadership in sustainability, internationalisation and scaling.”

In early November, Decathlon, along with secondhand retailer eBay and outerwear brand Mammut Sports, sent an open letter to all G20 leaders and called on the group to take action at COP28.



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