Decathlon is a French sporting goods retailer. With over 1400 stores in 45 countries, it is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. Decathlon started with a store in Lille, France in 1976, founded by Michel Leclercq. It started to expand abroad a decade later, to Germany in 1986, Spain in 1992, Italy in 1998, Portugal, the United Kingdom in 1999, China in 2003, India in 2009, Hong Kong in 2013, Malaysia in 2016 and Southeast Asia in 2012 and South Africa, Philippines in 2017 and Australia in 2018. The company employs more than 82,000 staff from 80 different nationalities.
Decathlon Group also owns over 20 brands, with research and development facilities all over France to develop the latest innovative designs, registering up to 40 patents per year. Each brand represents a different sport or group of sports, with a dedicated product development and design team.