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Sweeps family in the empire Decathlon

it Is almost impossible in countries such as Spain or France go for a hike or to do some exercise without someone to wear a garment or product from the French b

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Sweeps family in the empire Decathlon

it Is almost impossible in countries such as Spain or France go for a hike or to do some exercise without someone to wear a garment or product from the French brand Decathlon. Your iconic tents abound both in the campsites as at music festivals or up in the streets of cities like Paris, where the homeless use as a shelter precarious from the weather. When today we speak of “quechua”, a few think first in the indigenous language of Latin america, but one of the main ranges of products of this French brand, in recent decades, has been imposed in much of Europe and the rest of the world. But the key name of this company is not like that. Those who truly pull the strings of Decathlon are the members of a family well known in the business world gaul, but much less among the general public: Mulliez, the powerful family of the north of the country that holds the largest part of the capital of the giant of the fashion and sports equipment. And that, from next week, it shall also direct the management of the company. As many of the other big French brands.

The outgoing chief executive belongs to the other family shareholders: the Leclerq

The new president, Fabien Derville, will assume his duties on 4 December. Despite his last name, is directly related to the Mulliez, in whose business has carved out his career. Will replace Matthieu Leclercq, son of the founder of the brand, Michel, and which in July announced by surprise that he did not wish to continue in the post he had held since 2012. The reason: Leclercq, whose family holds 44.5% of the share capital of the Decathlon, was against the strategy preferred by the Mulliez that, with 45.5%, are senior partners and bet for failing to keep selling, third international brands, such as Nike or Adidas, in their stores, to focus on one's own, such as Quechua or Tribord. Matthieu Leclercq called for a transition less abrupt, fearful of losing customers. But he failed, as he admitted in a letter to the department and leaked to the magazine Challenges, to impose his vision. “In the past 18 months, I have not been able to choose freely to my advisers, and after the poor performance of the beginning of the year, the relationship with the representatives of our shareholders has not improved,” explained his decision not to try to renew mandate.

it is Not that this company will go wrong. In 2017, Decathlon grew 10% and reached the figure of business a record of 11,000 million euros. Has more than 1,400 points of sale across the world, from China to south Africa, Usa or Brazil. Only in Spain, the second market in terms of turnover, has 168 stores. But your good health should Betxlarge be, above all abroad, where the company generates 69% of its revenue and that last year he contributed 7.600 million. At home, in France, however, the growth was more lean: sales improved only 3%, to stand at 3,400 billion.

There is a pulse in the strategy. Some want to sell items of a third party; others are not

in Addition, other chains in france, such as Intersport and Go Sport, accelerate to eat market. And do not hide it. “Our goal is to become the brand most next of the French,” said the ceo of Intersport Jacky Rihouet, the newspaper Le Figaro in march, when it released the business figures of your company. These demonstrate that you are going at a good pace to reach his arch rival: in 2017, Intersport managed to grow 10% and exceeded the barrier of 2,000 million turnover, with a market share of 22% in France, compared to the 33% Decathlon.

Great discretion

Will you be able to curb this competition, the new president of Decathlon? What is the correct strategy imposed by the Mulliez? Time will tell. Coming so late in the game, the hand of Derville is noticeable only from 2019. In any case, for the time is unknown its strategy. Like the resignation of his predecessor, despite the turbulence that has been, the change is being done with great discretion. This is to ensure that you have a good knowledge of the Mulliez, one of the marks of the house. And Derville, in the end, it is a Mulliez by mother, Jeannette Mulliez. A more of a clan is huge and extremely powerful, but still manages to be, most of the time, out of the radar of the media. And, having seen its power, is not a small achievement.

After the name Mulliez is hiding an empire of distribution companies that includes some of the major international brands of France: in addition to Decathlon, are the owners of Auchan (Alcampo), Leroy Merlin, Boulanger, Pimkie, Norauto... and so on up to 50 companies. The journalist Bertrand Gobin, who has written several books and a blog about the empire of this “northern dynasty”, as it is called in the French press, estimated that 10% of what they spend the French food and equipment ends up in the pockets of the Mulliez. Its companies employ around the world to some 600,000 people and a combined turnover of nearly 90,000 million euros, according to calculated L'express last year.

“northern dynasty” is the owner of Alcampo, Leroy Merlin, Pimkie or Boulanger

How to manage these figures shocking being a family allergic, according to this magazine, to the Bag?: the shares of the companies remain in the hands of the own family. This is incorporated in the Family Association Mulliez (AFM), a group of economic interest created in 1955 to manage the fortune of the entrepreneur of textile Louis Mulliez, who wanted his business to remain in the hands of their 11 children. Over the years, the AFM have ended up belonging to more than 700 cousins, among them Gérard Mulliez, the grandson of Louis and founder of the supermarket chain Auchan, one of the pillars of the current family fortune (the fifth of France, and the first sector of distribution, according to Challenges). The AFM acts, according to the French press, under the principle of “all in all” at the time of entering into a business and is governed under a strict law of silence, there are relatively few information beyond economic results on this authentic dynasty.

With the take of the steering wheel in a Decathlon, the Mulliez are consolidated even more in the market of distribution French. The business, in spite of everything, will not go away from the family Leclercq. In the end, the patriarch, Michel, is a cousin of Gerard Mulliez. The first Decathlon store was opened in July 1976 in Englos, near Lille. The location: in the parking lot of the shopping center Auchan's cousin Gerard. All in the family.

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